4-foot-long lizard found in backyard of US home

4-foot-long lizard found in backyard of US home

In this still frame taken from video provided by the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, an employee holds a crocodile monitor, a lizard that can grow to eight feet long, in Riverside, California. The 4-foot-long crocodile monitor, a relative of the famous Komodo dragon, and native to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, was spotted sunning itself on top of a hedge Wednesday afternoon in the backyard of a Riverside home. It's legal to own them in the California and if the owner doesn't claim it, the monitor will be sent to a sanctuary for exotic animals. John Welsh/Riverside County Department of Animal Services via AP
 

RIVERSIDE, California — A lizard that can grow to be 8 feet long has been found in Southern California, thousands of miles from its native land, and authorities think it's a pet gone astray.


The 4-foot-long crocodile monitor was spotted sunning itself on top of a hedge Wednesday afternoon in the backyard of a Riverside home.


The crocodile monitor is a relative of the famous Komodo dragon. It's native to Papua New Guinea and Indonesia — not California — but it is legal to own them in the state.


It's green and yellow with big claws, a long tail and a forked tongue.


The big lizard is now being held by Riverside County's animal services division. If the owner doesn't claim it, the monitor will be sent to a sanctuary for exotic animals.