Road Cruising Washington: Africa Edition

Savannah monitor from Bellingham.

Savannah monitor from Bellingham. Courtesy Jess Hackler.

Road cruising for reptiles in Washington just got a lot more interesting. This savannah monitor lizard (Varanus exanthematicus) was found over the weekend in Bellingham merging onto Interstate 5 at the Lakeway Exit 253 on-ramp. The species is typically found in arid regions of Africa, not the Pacific Northwest. The lizard probably rafted across the Atlantic Ocean on a log, and then trekked across North America before giving up on circumnavigating the globe when it encountered the Pacific Ocean. The species is also popular in the pet trade.

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