Venomous lizard brings monster appeal to Far North zoo
A LITTLE monster has found a home at a Far Northern zoo.
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures has taken delivery of a gila monster, the first time a venomous lizard has been on show in northern Queensland.
Zoo group operations manager Michael O'Brien said the brightly-coloured lizard was native to the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of the southwestern US and northwestern Mexico.
"It's remarkable beadwork-like scales have inspired indigenous artists for centuries," he said.
The reptile was one of only two truly venomous species of lizards found worldwide, Mr O'Brien said.
"Bites from gilas cause excruciating pain with one report describing it as 'like boiling hot lava coursing through his veins'," he said. "However, deaths are very unlikely."