JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A neighborhood on the northside of Jacksonville near New Berlin Road looks like an average subdivision, but what's lurking behind one man's house is not average at all for north Florida.
"It was about two or three weeks ago," John Kilgore, 88, remembered when he first saw a big lizard by his shed.
"There it was laying there," Kilgore recalled. "I didn't know what it was."
First Coast News has confirmed with the St. Augustine Alligator Farm that it was a Savannah Monitor Lizard.
"I'd say it was 30 inches from his nose to the tip of his tail," Kilgore said.
He said the lizard seems to live under the shed, and it comes out to sunbathe.
"It only comes out when it's real good and warm," Kilgore explained. It didn't come out while First coast News was there.
"I'm concerned about the dog," he added. His 30-pound dog can get through the doggie door, but Kilgore doubts the lizard could.
"It's got a belly on it. It's not starving," he noted.
Savannah Monitor Lizards are native to Africa. They're not poisonous, but reptile experts say they do eat eggs and small animals.
Some people in the U.S. keep them as pets. Many believe the one in Kilgore's yard was someone's pet.
"But I still want it gone," but Kilgore doesn't want it killed.
Kilgore's family members said they've called different agencies, hoping someone would pick up the lizard.
"It seems no one will touch it," Kilgore said.
Jacksonville Animal Control won't come because it only takes cats and dogs. The family called the Jacksonville Zoo and a representative told First Coast News its standard procedure is not to accept animals, but it could make suggestions about who could.
First Coast News also called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. A spokesperson said the agency would pick up the lizard, and would most likely destroy it. However, it could possibly try to find its owner.
First Coast News also contacted the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. The director expressed interest in taking the lizard in order to find it a home.
"It hasn't shown any aggressive moves," Kilgore observed.
And so he keeps an eye on the creature in his yard, hoping it can call somewhere else home soon.