Australian man finds giant 1.5m-long monitor lizard in his backyard

Mr Eric Holland's image of the goanna lizard by the side of his home's brick wall has gone viral.
Mr Eric Holland's image of the goanna lizard by the side of his home's brick wall has gone viral. PHOTO: ERIC HOLLAND VIA FACEBOOK

An elderly man repairing the shed in his backyard earlier this week got the shock of his life - the sight of a giant monitor lizard running across the ground right in front of him.

Thurgoona resident Eric Holland, 80, fled back into the safety of his shed, only to discover that the 1.5m-long monster had crawled up the side of his house when he gathered the courage to emerge again.

"It climbed up the bricks and got under the eve and its tail was twitching and hitting on the pipe," Mr Holland told local media.

He managed to take a photo of the lizard - a goanna, or lace monitor - with his digital camera and subsequently submitted it to his local newspaper, The Border Mail.

The photo then spread like wildfire on social media, with news outlets across the world picking up the image.

Mr Holland said he has been living in his home in Thurgoona, a suburb of the regional city of Albury located in New South Wales (NSW) for 18 years and had never come across such a big specimen.

"It blew the cobwebs out of me; I couldn't have been more shocked if a Martian had landed," he said.

According to the NSW office of Environment and Heritage, it is not unusual for a goanna to be found in the area around Albury.

They can grow over 2m in length and weigh up to 20kg.