“Last Friday (8th February), at around 1345 hrs, a group of students spotted a Malayan Water Monitor (Varanus salvator) of about 1 metre length, prowling along the fence near the basketball court at the back of our school. How cool is this!!
“The Malayan Water Monitor is commonly seen along the coast of Singapore, and is no stranger to any joggers at Pandan Reservoir.
“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.
“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 a monitor lizard to feel threatened.
“Advisory for Students in Commonwealth Secondary School:
“It is important to note that if you encounter a monitor lizard in our school, 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 clear picture/video of your sighting from a safe distance, note the location and time, and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and also report the matter to the General Office. Ms Lye and myself are trained as ACRES Wildlife Rescue volunteers and we will try out best to handle the situation with compassion for the wildlife.”
Jacob Tan Guanrui
Senior Teacher (Biology)
Commonwealth Secondary School
8th February 2019
Photo Credits: Shailesh (Class 2-M), Dominic and Paul from (Class 3-M)