“Monday, a juvenile Malayan Monitor Lizard (Varanus salvator) was found in a toilet at the church compound next to our school, measuring a body span of 45 cm. Suu-Ning (Class 3-8), a student from Eco Club, brought the reptile to school on the following morning, and handed over to me before morning assembly (above).
It was released into The Wetland of our school (above). A video footage taken at the release is given below.
“The Malayan Monitor Lizard is commonly seen along the coast of Singapore and is no stranger to anyone who visits the Pandan Reservoir (below).
“Monitor Lizards eat anything they can swallow, including insects, crabs, shells, snakes, fish, and eggs of both birds and crocodiles. They have forked tongue which they stick in and out regularly to ‘smell’ their prey. They can swim well, and can remain underwater for up to half an hour. They are considered as fast runners for their size, because of their powerful leg muscles. The juvenile Monitor Lizard can climb onto trees very well to search for their prey and also to escape from their predators.
“Monitor Lizards can live for up to 15 years, grow up to 2 metres long, and weigh up to 25 kg.
“Rule of thumb: Do not behave in a way that will cause the juvenile Monitor Lizard to feel in danger.
“Although it is very unlikely that it would be out in the open, it is important to note that if you encounter this juvenile Monitor Lizard, please DO NOT PANIC. Monitor Lizards are generally shy creatures and harmless to humans. They are usually not aggressive unless provoked. Leave it alone. DO NOT HANDLE IT. If possible, take a picture/video of your sighting at a safe distance, note the location and time, and send an email to me (e-mail below) and also report the matter to the General Office.
“All of us have a purpose in life and I believe every living creature has its place on this Earth too. Let’s learn to co-exist together in this safe haven for wildlife.”
Jacob Tan Guanrui
Senior Teacher (Biology)
Commonwealth Secondary School
19th April 2018