Cape Coral Florida Police Frees Nile Monitor Lizard And Gets Taken To Task By Some On Social Media

April 5, 2016

When a Florida woman found a nile monitor lizard stuck in the fence in the back of her Cape Coral home, she called the Cape Coral Police Department, who sent an officer out to investigate. The officer freed the lizard and it took off running, and when the police department posted the image of the lizard stuck in the fence, all heck broke loose on the department’s Facebook page.

Some of the folks who posted onto the department’s Facebook page said the officer should have killed the lizard, while others said it should have been taken to its natural habitat.


Policing in Florida. This 6’ Nile monitor lizard was freed from its self-imposed captivity by Ofc. Joe Zalenski.

Posted by Cape Coral Police Department on Saturday, April 2, 2016

Below are some of the posts that appeared on the Cape Coral Police Department's Facebook page:


  • They should have killed it. They are nasty invasive predators that are killing all the little burrowing owls. Sorry to say that an animal should be killed, but they don't belong here and are destroying turtle nests, owls, the local reptiles and pets. If a person sees one are they allowed to kill them? Those nasty buggers need to be exterminated!
  • They are supposed to be handled by FWL. They are not native to Florida and are aggressive predators. When I saw the post about the cat and dog collars being found in the nest my heart dropped. I don't think they should be disposed of but need to be put back in their natural habitat or caged.
  • Those Monitor lizards are all around Sandaval and Heather Glen, they are very aggressive. One of them had a nest in a pepper tree the City of Cape Coral cut down for me, and in its nest was about ten little dog and cat collars.
  • I hope it wasn't released this an invasive exotic and should be taken care of appropriately.
  • Way to protect and serve, Officer
  • Thanks for saving this lizard!  you're wonderful.

Nile monitor lizards are obviously invasive in South Florida, so should the police have called Florida Fish and Wildlife? Or did the officer handle it the best he could?

Categories: Big Boxes, More Reptile Reading, Wild Lizards