Giant monitor lizard climbs up power pole to escape pack of dogs in central Thailand

A ginormous Asian water monitor lizard was chased up a communication pole by a pack of dogs at a village in Sara Buri province, central Thailand, yesterday.

The giant reptile clambered up the pole when it got chased and bitten by a pack of stray dogs, but then it got stuck and had to be rescued.

The “Tua Hia” – also known as “Tua Ngern Tua Tong” – got stuck up the pole outside a house in the Mueang district for an entire hour, attracting a crowd of villagers.

Villagers became concerned that the animal might get electrocuted and suffer the same fate as three slow lorises in Songkhla province. On the other hand, villagers were concerned the enormous animal could do damage to the village’s electric system and cause a power cut.

The owner of the house Suwit Yaemubon called two rescue workers to retrieve the monitor lizard, but it was no easy task. The rescue workers climbed up a ladder and tied a rope around the lizard before taping up its mouth. Then, they carried the lizard back down, put it on the back of a motorbike, and released it into a less urban area, where it hopefully won’t be attacked by soi dogs.

Suwit said he was walking outside near his fence when he spotted the lizard sitting nearby. He feared it would try and break into his house, so he began to chase it away. A pack of soi dogs joined in the chase, biting the lizard, who fled up the pole.

Most of the time, humans and monitor lizards tend to get on quite harmoniously in urban areas of Thailand. However, sometimes problems can arise. In March, one of the biggest Asian water monitors ever recorded – weighing in at 100 kilograms – disturbed a home in Nakhon Si Thammarat province in southern Thailand.

In May, a monitor lizard caused a flood in the Bang Khen area of Bangkok when it got stuck in a pipe, significantly disrupting traffic.