Clyde, a juvenile lizard, arrived at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in 2021. He made his public debut on Sunday, July 10 on the main lawn below the front entrance plaza.
“Savannah monitors need appropriate space, a healthy diet and exercise,” said assistant curator Donovan.
Donovan and the Kids’ Zone team cares for Clyde behind the scenes at Kids’ Zone, where Clyde lives. That care includes monitoring his temperature, humidity, and UV light.
“Although the fall, winter, and spring were too cold for Clyde to be outside, he’s been on plenty of walkabouts indoors,” said Donovan. “We have to keep a close eye on him because he is very curious about everything around him.”
Overall, Donovan describes Clyde as “chill and independent.”
“He has certainly stolen my heart and I can’t wait for zoo guests to meet him,” said Donovan.
Guests can look for the over 2.5-foot-long lizard on warmer days (above 75 degrees) at Critter Corner presentations and Close Encounters or on walks with his keeper team throughout the zoo.
Donovan said Clyde is a wonderful ambassador for his species and can help teach guests about making responsible pet choices. Animal control brought Clyde to the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County after being found wandering local streets and was lethargic.
“Everyone should research what it takes to care for an animal before bringing one home as a pet,” said Donovan. “Caring for a monitor lizard requires an exceptional amount of time and space.”
Monitor lizards can grow up to 5 feet long and live 15-20 years.
“We’re so glad that Point Defiance Zoo was able to provide a wonderful home and second chance to Clyde,” said Lindsey Heaney, communications manager at the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County. “Exotic pets need specific care, so we’re happy Clyde has a permanent home that will give him the care he needs!”
Point Defiance Zoo does not accept pets from members of the community, said Donovan. The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County is here to help keep pets with their people or help them find a loving home, said Heaney. For more information and resources, visit The Humane Society website.