Rare, huge lizard species found alive in Şanlıurfa

Rare, huge lizard species found alive in Şanlıurfa

ŞANLIURFA - Anadolu Agency
Rare, huge lizard species found alive in Şanlıurfa

A rare desert monitor was recently found at the Turkey-Syria borderline. AA photo

A desert monitor, which is a species of monitor lizards and in danger of extinction, has been found in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa.

The desert monitor (varanus griseus), known as huge lizard, was seen at the Turkey-Syria borderline within in project titled “Detection of Reptile Species,” initiated by the Harran University Scientific Research Commission and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK).

Harran University Biology Department associate Zülfü Yıldız said after five days of land observation, they saw the animal sunbathing in a region close to Syria.

He said the huge lizard was very timid and harmless, adding, “The animal ran away as soon as it saw us. But with some techniques, we captured it and took its photos. We will record some of its characteristics and then take it back to nature.”

Yıldız said the desert monitor was a rare and special species.

“It had not been seen between 1960 and 2002. In 2002, we found the remains of one killed by villagers. Last year, we had two samples killed by villagers in Şanlıurfa and Şırnak. It is a rare animal and in danger of extinction. It is hard to find and observe,” he said.

Desert monitor

The desert monitor lizard is found living throughout North Africa and South Asia.

Its reproduction normally takes place between May and July. Copulation occurs in May and June, At birth, the baby lizards have a length of 25 centimeters.