Huge lizard that terrified Florida residents captured

A huge lizard that has terrified residents of a suburban neighbourhood in Florida for months has been captured, authorities said.

The Asian water monitor lizard measures more than 8ft (2.5 metres) long, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

The lizard, which is an escaped pet, was first reported loose in August in a neighbourhood in Miami.

The escaped pet Asian water monitor lizard (Eric Suarez/Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via AP)

Residents in Davie said it lurked in their back gardens and scratched at their patio doors.

Wildlife officers and local police officers caught it after getting a tip from a resident who said the lizard frequently appeared on his property around midday.

A wildlife commission statement said the lizard will be returned to its owner, who received a criminal citation for its escape.

Owners must have cages to keep such lizards as pets.

It is illegal to release non-native species in Florida.

- Press Association

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