Water Beastie (Tittley's Nemesis!)

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6 years 11 months ago #36499 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman created the topic: Water Beastie (Tittley's Nemesis!)
Anyone who read Mark Tittley's excellent trip report from Roodeplaat Dam nature reserve will recall the description of his life-threatening encounter with a giant lizard. Sadly, Mark didn't manage to photograph this splendid beast. Well, Mark, just for you, here's Roodeplaat's magnificent Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus)









You can see why Mark wasn't happy about getting so close to this guy (apparently he almost stepped on it in the long grass). By our estimation, this was at least 1.5m long from nose to tail. Prior to this, the largest lizard I had seen in the wild was a Blue Headed Tree Agama (bloukop koggelmander in Afrikaans) but I doubt I'll ever see one bigger than this.

While researching about the species, I came across this comment in relation to keeping them as pets (surely an even worse idea than keeping birds as pets):

"Very few of the people who buy brightly-coloured baby Nile Monitors can be aware that, within a couple of years, their purchase will have turned into an enormous, ferocious carnivore, quite capable of breaking the family cat's neck with a single snap and swallowing it whole."
(Bennett, D. 1995. Little Book of Monitor Lizards, Viper Press, Aberdeen, UK)

Well done for escaping intact Mark!! <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: --> <!-- s:lol: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_lol.gif" alt=":lol:" title="Laughing" /><!-- s:lol: -->

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6 years 11 months ago #36521 by marktittley
marktittley replied the topic: Re: Water Beastie (Tittley's Nemesis!)
Dave, that is the beast I practically stepped on!!!! I am in a cold sweat all over again as I see your amazing pics. People I have told the story to have assumed I was exaggerating - but now, thanks to you, I have photographic evidence of the MONSTER! Okay, where's my shotgun......

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6 years 11 months ago #36528 by Dave Shedman
Dave Shedman replied the topic: Re: Water Beastie (Tittley's Nemesis!)
Yes, it's the same beast, it was photographed from the left hand side of the eastern bird hide which is, I believe, roughly where you said you saw it. I was certainly glad to be photographing it from the safety of the hide! <!-- s:shock: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_eek.gif" alt=":shock:" title="Shocked" /><!-- s:shock: -->

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