Monitor lizards are renowned for their sturdy limbs but it’s that tail you have to watch out for!
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The tails can account for, typically, half of the lizard’s body length, and give you a good whipping. When confronted, monitor lizards try to puff themselves up as much as possible, making themselves appear larger and more threatening. They stand upright on all legs, puffing up their lungs, flattening their back, making a hissing sound, and some will also sway from side to side.
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As a final protective measure, they open their mouths as far they can. If approached, the monitor may lunge and attack. The monitor lizard is much like a mommy lion whose babies are threatened, in that it will attack relentlessly.
Costa Frangeskides was vacationing at Kaingu Safari Lodge in Zambia when he came across this incredible encounter. He tells Latestsightings.com of this moment: “We were out on a beautiful day safari drive when we came upon a monitor lizard in the middle of the road. We could see that there were two leopards looking very interested in trying to make a morsel of the monitor.”
“The lizard knew that it was in trouble and immediately began thrashing its tail around from side to side in order to protect itself. The tail is a pretty powerful tool however, once the lizard had its back to the leopard he was able to grab him at the back of the neck and make off into the bushes with his treat.”
“I’m pretty sure that the monitor lizard did not survive the ordeal but this was an incredible sighting to have witnessed. Once again nature has a way to hold you in suspense and play out a multitude of emotions within your soul.”