The Animals of Bali #4 – The Monitor Lizard

Many people are alarmed when they see the small lizards running around the walls and ceilings of their villa rental in Bali. It is not uncommon for rental agents to get calls from terrified holidaymakers at midnight with a hysterical voice shouting, “THERE’S A LIZARD IN MY BEDROOM!! GET IT OUT NOW!!!”. Whilst these unfamiliar creatures might cause alarm, they are perfectly harmless and it is unreasonable to expect that any of the many Bali villas for rent will be lizard free. They perform a valuable service, catching mosquitoes, flying termites and other small to medium sized insects. If you don’t want to see lizards, don’t come to Bali, or Thailand, or, in fact, any country in Asia, Africa, The Pacific Rim and large parts of Europe!

One fairly common lizard, which can be a visitor to or resident in, Bali villas for rent, is the much larger Monitor Lizard. These are magnificent creatures, sometimes up to one metre or more in length, are related to the much larger Komodo Dragon. Monitor Lizards look like mini-dinosaurs. They usually move with slow, deliberate motions and like to avoid people as much as possible but can move very quickly when they need to. They are very intelligent creatures and studies of Monitors in captivity have shown that they can even count up to six! That’s more than some people I know! (Only kidding!). It is a treat to see such examples of mega fauna; these are some of the largest reptiles on the planet and their beautiful skins and noble bearing make them great subjects for the quick witted photographer with a decent camera and the wherewithal to take shots of a creature who doesn’t want you to know it’s there.

If you see a Monitor Lizard in your villa rental in Bali please do not phone your villa agent; do not jump onto a high place and scream. Simply make a little bit of noise and allow the reptilian guest to leave by the quickest exit. They are called Aloo in Indonesian and unfortunately they are prized for their supposed medicinal value and killed and carefully dismantled to liberate their tiny organs. Monitors are vulnerable to dog attack and if you see one in distress, scaring away the dog can save its life. Please do this, as monitor lizards are dwindling in number as their habitat is eroded and they have as much right to be in your Bali villa as you do!

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