We got an interesting call from a South Mission Beach resident reporting that a goanna had been in his garden for several hours but hadn’t moved. He didn’t want to approach it as goannas have heaps of bacteria in their mouths that can lead to serious infection should you be bitten.
When we arrived, we found a very lethargic lace monitor lizard near the home. It didn’t even attempt to run away as we approached it, so Tanya knew something was wrong with it. Tanya and Karlie efficiently and effectively captured the lizard in a large bag, then tied the top so it couldn’t escape.
At the shelter, Tanya put the goanna in a large cage and observed it for a while. She gave it food and water, but the poor thing didn’t seem very interested in it. Tanya concluded that the goanna must have ingested something poisonous, such as rat bait, and would just need a bit of TLC.
There were no outward signs of injury on the lizard, but Tanya thought it was better to keep him for a while until his strength returned. It would safer for him in the cage where other predators couldn’t attack him. He would also have plenty of food and water that he would not have to hunt himself. She wasn’t sure he had the strength to do it on his own.
Over the next week, the lizard slowly recovered from his accidental poisoning. His appetite returned and soon he was climbing on the sides of the cage. When he seemed healthy enough to survive in the wild, Tanya took him to the edge of the rainforest and let him go. He is just one of many successfully rehabilitated animal that the shelter has released back in the wild.