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Escaped Dinosaur Caught


stltoday.com

The lizard that escaped from a Compton Heights home in June was found Friday resting on the limb of a mulberry tree.

The lizard, a 5-foot-long crocodile monitor, jumped from tree to tree for part of the afternoon until St. Louis firefighters caught it around 5 p.m.

Children discovered the lizard in the tree in the 1900 block of California Avenue, about a quarter mile from the Russell Boulevard home where it escaped from its cage. Gerald Brooks, whose tree the monitor was found in, called several emergency numbers, including the St. Louis Fire Department. He kept an eye on the beast from his porch.

"It was like half alligator, half lizard," he said.

The lizard's sharp teeth and dangerous claws had Brooks concerned for his safety and that of his neighbors. The animal belonged to Zane Donaho, 18, who was in Texas on Friday.

"I never thought anyone would find it because it's so camouflaged," said Shelley Donaho, Zane Donaho's mother.

Firefighters on hook and ladder first tried to capture the lizard but were unsuccessful, she said. They caught the reptile using a pole and a large net, and carried it off in a large plastic container.

The lizard was taken to the Animal Regulation Center on Gasconade Street.

full story

posted: 8/7/2006

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