Australian Reptile Park’s General Manager, Tim Faulkner received an unexpected New Year’s Day package yesterday morning from a concerned local who brought in a Lace Monitor that was stuck in a yabbie trap.
The goanna had wandered in through a hole at the end of the trap but became entangled but luckily for the lizard, he was brought to the right place!
Upon receiving the goanna at The Australian Reptile Park, Faulkner identified the lizard as Australia’s second-largest monitor species (the lace monitor) and jumped into action by removing the animal from the yabbie trap and releasing the goanna back to the wild.
“Lace monitors are scavenger feeders,” Faulkner said.
“This is a natural behaviour that has been occurring for thousands of years but now humans are sharing their habitat at an increased capacity, more potentially harmful items start appearing and the goannas try to take advantage of what appears to be a free meal.”
“Luckily for this lace monitor there was a happy ending. However, more and more frequently animals are being brought in with human waste obstructing parts of their body.
“These yabbie traps are notorious for drowning platypus, but I must say, this is the first time I have seen a lace monitor stuck in one.
“We as Australians need to take more care of throwing away rubbish and taking anything we have away with us like traps, trash etc - not only for the benefit of the animals, but for humankind as well.”
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Lace monitors grow to between 1.5 and 2 metres in length and inhabit eastern Australian forests and coastal tablelands.
Much of its time is spent up fairly large trees, although they usually come down to the ground to forage for food. They will readily feed on carrion, including road kills, gorging themselves when the opportunity arises. After a large feed they are able to go for many weeks without feeding again.