By Regional Editor Corey Fyke
Ledyard police shot and killed what they believe was a monitor lizard that had broken into a chicken coop on Shewville Road Sunday afternoon.
According to a release from Lt. Michael Finkelstein, the Ledyard Emergency Communications Center got a call Sunday at about 3:30 p.m. from a woman who lives on Shewville Road who believed there was an "alligator" in her chicken coop on her property. Officers and the Ledyard Animal Control Officer responded to the scene and found the lizard attacking chickens.
Officers, "due to the further risk to livestock, domestic animals and human life … were forced to use a firearm to mitigate the threat." The lizard was "several feet long," according to Finkelstein.
A monitor lizard is carnivorous and can grow to over 9 feet long in some cases, although they are as small as 8 inches, according to Wikipedia. The famous Komodo dragon lizard is a type of monitor lizard. They are indigenous to Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
The incident solved a bit of a mystery, as Ledyard Police and the animal control officer had been receiving reports for several months from people who had spotted the lizard at several locations on the east side of town.
According to the release, Monitor Lizards are illegal in the state of Connecticut and can be extremely dangerous. Actor Nicolas Cage recently made headlines when he donated his Asian water monitor lizard to an animal sanctuary in Lake Forest, IL.