Good thing police were ... monitoring the situation.

By Chad Taylor
April 22, 2021
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montior lizard on the road
Credit: Putra Kurniawan / EyeEm / Getty

All animals deserve to live, even the ones that might try taking a bite out of us if we get too close. So when footage surfaced this week of police officers in Singapore pulling a monitor lizard off a busy highway and saving it from a squishy end, we cheered.

Monitor lizards can be tricky animals to handle. While Komodo dragons are the largest and best known species of monitor lizard, they all get quite a bit larger than your average pet iguana. These big reptiles are also blessed with strong jaws and claws, and most species tend to be carnivorous. So it's safe to say that stopping traffic in a busy thoroughfare and trying to coax a monitor lizard into going somewhere it may not necessarily want to go is a job that's above and beyond your typical police officer's call of duty.

Yet that's precisely what happened, as seen in the videos posted by the Facebook page Just Keep Thinking. By the time the group of people watching the action start filming, the Singapore police officers already have traffic on the road stopped. One of the officers has stepped out to have a word with the lizard, which is pretty amusing considering the lizard does not seem particular interested in engaging in the topic at hand.

In the second video, the officer decides that the conversation has reached the end of its usefulness, and has moved on to tactic number two: picking the monitor up and moving him to the curb like they're partners in a wheelbarrow race. A bold maneuver when you're dealing with a potentially angry, meat-eating lizard with teeth. but the move seems to pay off for the unlikely duo, as man and lizard both make it safely to the edge of the road.

In the third clip, the first officer resumes negotiations with the lizard, presumably something along the lines of "No, Gary, you can't go back out on the road. You're going to get run over, mate." A young woman who has been watching the whole affair breaks it down for the camera: "A monitor lizard has been saved from potential roadkill by none other than neighborhood police." A true hero act, indeed!

In the final video, it's become clear to the first officer that the lizard I've decided to call Gary is just going to run back out on the road again the moment the fuzz leaves the scene. So, much like a parent keeping an eye on a misbehaving child, the officer decides to escort the lizard all the way to a nearby body of water, identified as Kallang Basin by the Malay Mail. As the officer gently deposits the lizard into the lake and watches it swim away, officer No. 2 offers up her first measurable contribution to the effort: an adorable wave goodbye as the lizard splashes off.

We're just glad no one (including the lizard!) was injured, and that these helpful first responders were brave and quick-thinking enough to give this story a happy ending.