DAVIE, Fla. -- A pet owner calling for help to find their missing Asian water monitor lizard ultimately was cited after the escaped reptile was found.
The 8-foot-plus lizard first was reported loose in August, and on Monday a homeowner reported seeing a "large monitor-like lizard" on their property, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Biologists were sent to the home the following day to capture the non-native animal.
In Florida, it's illegal to release non-native species. However, in this instance, people are not required to have a permit to own an Asian water monitor lizard, but its owner must follow caging requirements.
The owner was cited for its escape, and the animal's cage was inspected for appropriate care, the FWC says.
“In this instance, the pet owner came forward and provided us with tips about the animal’s behavior that ultimately helped our biologists capture it,” said Sarah Funck, FWC’s Non-native Fish and Wildlife Program coordinator in a news release.