Monitor lizard 'run over' after holding up traffic near KPE exit in Buangkok

There was a slight traffic jam as vehicles slowed to avoid running over the creature.
There was a slight traffic jam as vehicles slowed to avoid running over the creature. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/LEVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - A large monitor lizard was seen on a road in the Buangkok area near the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway (KPE) on Friday (Feb 3), causing a slight traffic jam as vehicles carefully manoeuvred around it.

A photo of the reptile was posted on Facebook by Mr Levin Foo, 31, at 6.07pm on Friday.

Mr Foo, who is self-employed, told The Straits Times that the creature was 2m to 3m long and appeared to him like a crocodile at first.

It occupied the second lane on a road in Buangkok, at the KPE exit towards Sengkang.

Mr Foo tried honking at the lizard to get it to move, along with other motorists, but it did not budge initially.

He then got out of the car in the rain, along with another motorist, and tried to coax the lizard to the side.

"Everyone tried to avoid it," said Mr Foo. "Others took pictures from inside their cars."

There was a slight traffic jam as vehicles slowed to avoid running over the creature, which Mr Foo said could have come from a nearby canal.

The lizard was unhurt when he left and had moved to the side of the road, Mr Foo said. He and his friend tried contacting the Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (Acres) to retrieve the lizard.

Deputy chief executive officer of Acres, Mr Kalai Vanan, told The Straits Times on Friday that Acres was aware of the incident.

Mr Kalai, who manages the animal care and wildlife rescue department, said they had received updated photos and believe the animal was run over and has died, although Acres has not yet confirmed this.

The lizard could have come from the surrounding green spaces including the Sungei Serangoon Park Connector and Punggol Park, he said.

"Water monitor lizards are commonly found throughout the island," said Mr Kalai. "Unfortunately, because we are heavily urbanised, wild animals often get stranded, and in this case, fall victims to traffic accidents."

In November last year, water sport activities in Marina Reservoir were suspended after the sighting of a monitor lizard which was initially mistaken for a crocodile.

In September last year, a monitor lizard wandered onto the Singapore Grand Prix circuit during final practice.