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Florida family desperate ‘to get their life back’ as six-foot long lizard roaming their backyard is on the loose

'I am just worried if I am out there, if it comes back, what it would do,' says Maria Lieberman

Kimberley Richards
New York
Friday 31 August 2018 17:53 BST
six-foot lizard 'terrorising" Florida family

A family in Florida with a six-foot long uninvited lizard as their guest, has said they are scared to enter their own backyard for fear of encountering the massive reptile, after wildlife officials were unsuccessful in efforts to capture it.

Maria Lieberman told local news stations she first encountered the 100-pound lizard just as she was about to take her 2-year-old son in the family’s pool, in the backyard of their home in Davie, ten miles west of Fort Lauderdale.

“I am just worried if I am out there, if it comes back, what it would do,“ she said. Ms Lieberman captured a video of the large lizard and posted it on Facebook on 27 August.

Days later – and after unsuccessful attempts to capture the lizard by Florida Fish and Wildlife (FFW) officials – the reptile remained on the loose. Ms Lieberman has posted updates about the lizard debacle on Facebook.

The Independent has reached out to the Florida Fish and Wildlife for comment.

Ms Lieberman’s husband, Zach Lieberman, told NBC that having the “big fella” in their backyard made him concerned for his children’s safety while they’re outside.

The lizard has since been identified as an Asian Water Monitor lizard and “potentially dangerous”. It was apparently a neighbour’s pet that had escaped their property.

“Since it is a large, potentially dangerous lizard, we want to make sure that we remove it as soon as possible to minimise any impact it might have on human health and safety or any of our ecological natural resources,” Eric Suarez, FWC senior nonnative wildlife biologist, told ABC .

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FWC had since set up a trap in the Lieberman’s home; they placed a chicken drumstick inside a cage to bait the lizard.

“This thing can come out of the bushes and eat our small children as food,” Mr Lieberman told The Daily Beast. “We just want it out of our environment so we can go back to our lives.”

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