4-foot-long lizard found in Southern California backyard - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

4-foot-long lizard found in Southern California backyard

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(John Welsh/Riverside County Department of Animal Services via AP). 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, i... (John Welsh/Riverside County Department of Animal Services via AP). 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, i...

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) - 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.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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