Reptile Sightings Had Been Reported For Months

LEDYARD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The story of a large reptile roaming Ledyard was no urban legend.

A police officer shot a monitor lizard to death Sunday, after a resident called 911 to report what she believed to be an alligator attacking the chickens in her coop, authorities said.

“When police and animal control arrived, they did find the lizard had killed one chicken and was attempting to kill others,” police Lt. Michael T. Finkelstein told WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot. “Based on information we’ve gathered on them and the proximity to other people, the officer decided he was going to have to shoot the lizard to control the situation.”

Police had received multiple reports about a large lizard or an alligator in Ledyard over the past several months, Finkelstein said. Some residents had posted photos and shared information on Facebook about the lizard.

“One of our officers did respond and actually see it before it was able to get away,” Finkelstein said of a past sighting reported to police. “So we did have an idea that we had something out there.”

Finkelstein said he believes the lizard might have been someone’s pet that either escaped or grew so large that it was released. Monitor lizards can be as big as some alligators, reaching lengths of 6 to 7 feet. They are not native to Connecticut and are illegal in the state.

Police do not believe there was ever in alligator in the rural town.

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