A Malayan Monitor Lizard that was late for school

on 17th May 2019

“A Malayan Monitor Lizard (Varanus salvator) was late for school on 30th April. It was caught dashing past the security guard at the main gate at around 1200 hrs. – an episode of human-wildlife co-existence. The footage capturing the monitor lizard dashing past the security post is shown below.

“The Monitor Lizard 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.

“Rule of thumb: Do not behave in a way that will cause a Monitor Lizard to feel in danger.

Advisory for Staff and Students in our 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 [email protected] and also report the matter to the General Office.

“Let’s learn to co-exist together in this safe haven for wildlife. Keep Calm and Celebrate Biodiversity!”

Jacob Tan Guanrui
Senior Teacher (Biology)
Commonwealth Secondary School
6th May 2019

(Photo Credit: Mr Zuwardy)

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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