IMPHAL, July 31: A Monitor lizard, (local name: Hangkok), an endangered species listed in Schedule I of Indian Wildlife Act, was rescued by the wildlife lovers and volunteers of local club on Thursday night from Taothong Khunou village near the Iroisemba Zoo under the Lamsang police station in Imphal West district.
This rare animal which is also called the Bengal Monitor Lizard has been handed over to the Joint Coordinating Committee on Wildlife and Biodiversity, (JCCWB) and State Forest Department officials on Friday.
The animal which was found in possession of Ksh Bishrup, Ksh Manosh, Ksh Nicolas and Ch Bobi, the volunteers of the local club was later released safely at the Nursery farm, near the Iroisemba Zoo, the state forest department, officials said.
Monitor lizards belong to the family Varanidae and they are tropical reptiles which may be very hostile, lashing out with their tails upon the slightest provocation. A forest officer while handing over the animal to them has said that the Monitor lizards have a long and flattened body (can be up to 1.5 meter long), long tail (1 m), long neck and extremely elongated, slender, forked tongue, similar to that of snakes. The family is of ancient origin, 50 million year old.