Water monitor lizard

A few weeks ago we share with our Facebook community a picture of two caracals tugging at a water monitor lizard through the fence. Well, as the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) found out, these large lizards are rather skilled in revenge!

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday the cheetahs are fed their meat, starting at the top of the camp with all the males, and finishing with the females at the bottom. After an hour or so, the staff return to check that everyone is full and happy. All the animals had eaten, except for one male, aptly named Burger.

Burger walking away from his meal

The staff and the students were intrigued as to why he hadn’t polished his meat off as usual, and were shocked to find a monitor lizard patrolling Burger’s food! Sitting quietly in the corner and looking a little sheepish, it was clear that Burger had lost his food to the monitor lizard!

Monitor Lizards can grow up to two metres in length, have an extremely powerful tail that can slash away at enemies, and have long, strong claws. No wonder Burger gave up his meat so quickly!

After shooting a few quick photos of the rare scene, the students and staff chased the lizard away, and returned to a very smug Burger, who purred in return – showing his gratitude towards saviours who protected his breakfast!