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Leaping Lizards: Florida wildlife officials catch big lizard

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Posted at 4:07 PM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 16:07:52-04

KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) — Wildlife officials have finally captured a large invasive Asian water monitor that had been running loose in the Florida Keys for more than a year.

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials posted pictures on Facebook with this caption: "Elusive lizard captured!"

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The lizard was more than 5 feet (1.52 meters) long and weighed 20 pounds (9 kilograms).

Crews of staff members and volunteers had been setting traps and searching for the lizard. Once it was caught, the lizard was removed from the wild. Wildlife officials say this helps prevent the establishment of a new nonnative species.

Wildlife officers advise people to snap pictures if they see nonnative wildlife and report it to the agency.