Lizards among other reptiles to call Nature Park home

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PORT Moresby Nature Park will open its reptile shelter in early September which will be used to look after lizards among other reptiles, according to the park management.
The park has a number of lizards that it cares for including several blue–tongued lizards.
The lizards are cared for until they are big enough to be released back into the wild. Others remain as part of the park’s collection of existing blue-tongue lizards.
Over the past seven years, the nature park has hand-raised, rehabilitated and saved hundreds of native animals like the blue-tongued lizards.
In January 2018, 11 baby blue-tongued lizards were rescued by the Salonica family residing in Taurama, after a dog killed their mother.
Three baby lizards were still in the womb when she died and the family was able to save two.
“As a child growing up in that area, I would see so many blue-tongued lizards, even as recently as two years ago,” Moi Salonica said.
“But since the Taurama area continues to develop you just don’t see them anymore which is sad.”
Papua New Guinea is home to the world’s longest lizard, the varanus salvadorii, commonly referred to as the crocodile monitor which can grow as long as 3.6 metres.
The largest lizard is the Komodo dragon, which is actually the world’s heaviest lizard and grows to 2.6m.
Lizards live in almost any habitat and can be found on every continent in the world except Antarctica.
There are more than 4,000 lizard species around the world ranging from geckos to iguanas and blue-tongued lizards.
The park is dedicated to inspiring others as guardianship of PNG’s unique natural environment and culture.
Its rescue and rehabilitation programme secures the welfare and conservation of animals that have been endangered or threatened and can no longer thrive in their environment.
The park recently celebrated ‘World Lizard Day’ which is officially celebrated annually on Aug 14.

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