Sunday, April 14, 2019

Bengal Monitor

The Bengal monitor, also known as the common Indian monitor, is found widely in the Indian Subcontinent, parts of Southeast Asia and West Asia. It can get as long as 5.75 feet (a snout to vent length of 2.5 feet and tail length of 3.3 feet) and weigh up to 16 pounds. 
One benefit of them on a road is that grass and shrubs do not restrict the views of the feet and other body parts. Such a powerfully built lizard. 
We saw at least six on our trip and I got photos of five of them. 

The first was in Anuradhapura. We were just finishing a visit to some ruins and Judy saw one in some grass. I was very excited and got quite close to it and followed it. It eventually disappeared into a drain under a road. I would have guessed it to be six feet long, which given the above, was too long. I contemplated trying to catch it, but did not know if they have a wicked bite (I read that they rarely bite) or how the guide would react to it. 
In Anuradhapura.
It has a waddling gait like a komodo dragon. 
It disappeared into the culvert. 
The second was in Minneriya National Park. It was crossing a dirt track in front of our safari vehicle. It was smaller. 
In Minneriya NP.
The third as crossing a road near Udawalawe National Park. We stopped for it and it turned around and went back across the road and almost got smashed by a large truck which managed to come to a screeching halt as it tried to pass us (it missed it).
Crossing the road near Udawalawe NP.
The fourth was on safari in Yala National Park. We were near some water buffalo waiting to see a leopard that had just gone into some trees. A monitor walked across in front of our vehicle and into some long grass. 
In the grass in Yala, near water buffalo and a leopard.
A fifth was on safari the next day in Yala NP. We were driving down a dirt road and looked down a side dirt road at another vehicle stopped and taking photos of a monitor. I did not get photos of it.

The sixth was after our safari in Yala, back at our hotel in Tissamaharama. It walked right past our parked safari vehicle and down behind the hotel where I followed it for my photo. 
Behind our hotel in Tissamaharama.
I love the large monitors. I get as excited for them as for leopards and elephants. Given how many we saw, they must be quite common. 

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I think our guide would have freaked out if you had tried to catch this monstrous beast. And I think I would have doubled his freak-out.