Police received an unusual call Wednesday night from a homeowner who reported a Komodo dragon sighting in the backyard of a Riverside home.
The resident actually had an encounter with a crocodile monitor, according to the Riverside County Animal Services. Either way, the encounter came as a late-night surprise near Tyler Street and Victoria Avenue.
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Also known as varanus salvadorii, the lizard is usually found in New Guinea -- not the Inland Empire. Crocodile monitors are considered top predators on the island -- and probably in the bush where this one was found.
The strange visitor, considered one of the longest lizards in the world, was transported to a county animal services shelter. Staff members are waiting for the owner to claim the lizard.
Video of the thrashing lizard was posted on the agency's Facebook page.