Exotic Animal Removal
This 4 ft Nile Monitor was captured in South Brandon, Florida. All monitors are tropical reptiles. They are active lizards, that may be very hostile, lashing out with their tails upon the slightest provocation. Even a small monitor can produce a stinging lash with its tail. The claws of monitors are long and sharp. The jaws are very strong. Once they bite something it is very difficult to get them to let go. Monitors are carnivorous and will devour anything they are capable of dismembering and gulping down. Species which live in or near water will readily eat fish. Monitors do not divest themselves of their tails, like some other lizards. Once lost, the tail of a monitor does not grow back. Monitors tend to swallow their prey whole, like snakes. Monitors are daytime lizards and most species actively search for food. Some species eat dead and decaying flesh, grasshoppers, beetles, birds, eggs, crabs, fish, other lizards, snakes, nestling birds, and squirrels.
Peafowl are native to southern India and Ceylon. Semi-domesticated populations can be a nuisance in residential communities. The male is known as a peacock and the female a peahen. Peafowl are ground feeding birds with moderately strong legs. Three strong toes face forwards and one backwards. While they nest on the ground, they prefer to roost in the trees. Their wing surface to body weight ratio is not large and most species are incapable of long flights.
A large rodent, nearly as large as a beaver but with long, rounded, scaly, rat like tail; hind feet webbed; orange-colored incisors; upper parts reddish brown; the under fur dark ; tip of muzzle and chin white. Throughout much of their natural range in South America, nutria prefer a semi aquatic existence in swamps, marshes, and along the shores of rivers and lakes. In southern Chile and Tierra del Fuego they are found mainly in the channels and bays separating the various islands off the coast. They are almost entirely nocturnal, consequently their presence in an area usually is revealed only by their trails, feces, and lengths of cut vegetation that have been left in their trails. These animals appear to breed throughout the year. Each adult female produces two or three litters a year. The number of young per litter ranges from two to 11 and averages about five. At birth the young are fully furred, and their eyes are open; they are able to move about and feed upon green vegetation within a few hours.
Aquatic species native of South America has been in Florida since at least 1955 and entered the state from fur farms and from some releases for aquatic vegetation control. They have been reported over a wide area of the state at various times, but populations seem ephemeral in most areas. Current distribution in Florida is not known, although the animals are consistently reported from the Brandon area.
Most iguanas live in the rainforests of Central and South America but some come from drier areas and along the coasts. Young iguanas are a very light green and blend in well with their natural habitat. Their tail is striped and this also helps them blend in. All iguanas are excellent climbers and great swimmers. Iguanas can reach a length of 5-7 feet and weighing as much as 18 pounds.
The wild pig, wild hog, wild boar or feral pig, is not a Florida native and may have been introduced by Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto as early as 1539. They can reach weights of more than 150 pounds. Wild pigs are omnivorous (eating all kinds of foods, both plants and animals) and feed by rooting with their broad snouts. They dig in the soil and ground cover vegetation and leave the area looking like a plowed field. The tusks on these animals are like knife blades and trapping them is better left to professionals.
The coyote is a native of the western United States and likely entered Florida both from natural range expansion and human introductions. Can be an agricultural pest, upon vegetables as well as livestock, and can prey upon numerous native species. Attempts to control coyote populations on a large scale have not been successful. Favorite urban food is the common house cat.