GEORGETOWN, Texas -- A scaly find in Georgetown has some people’s skin crawling; though initial reports that it was an alligator have been debunked.
On the city’s Facebook page, the joke-of-the day Thursday afternoon was, “Anyone lose a 5 foot long Nile monitor?”
City officials say the reptile, which KVUE News is told is actually a Malaysian water monitor, was found wandering the frontage road near Lakeway Drive on IH-35 in North Georgetown. Staff at the animal shelter say they believe the animal belonged to someone because it was “well taken care of,” prior to being found.
“We imagine someone is missing him a lot right now as he's very used to people and seems to have been very loved,” the city staff said in their Facebook post.
Friday morning KVUE learned the lizard's name is Sebastian Cornelius Dupree, and he does indeed have owners. Georgetown Animal Control made contact with them, and they were reunited with their lovable pet Friday.
At first, officers thought it was an alligator or a komoto dragon. Still, they say it's one of the most bizarre encounters they've had in Georgetown.
Many can relate to a missing dog or cat, but for Wulf Vance and his pet lizard it's a happy reunion just the same.
"Hey buddy, how ya doing?" Vance said to Sebastian at the animal shelter. "This is Sebastian. He's a big baby. A big, loveable baby."
The 35-pound water monitor has been with Vance for five years and is actually part of the family business.
"We do birthday parties for people with these animals, educational school shows, preschool shows. He's a big hit, a star attraction," he said.
But this week, Sebastian made a break for freedom.
"He picks the latch. He's really smart. He picked the latch and wiggled underneath it," explained Vance.
Animal control officers found him a mile away from home in North Georgetown.
"There he was just cruising up the frontage road," laughed Officer Kelly Andrews.
Officer Andrews helped wrangle him in.
"[We] grabbed our catch poles. With a lizard this size, they have a really nasty bite and a really good whack with their tail, so we wanted to be as careful as possible," she explained.
Despite how Sebastian looks, Andrews claims he's not so scary.
"You can pick him up and hold him, and he's totally cool with it," Andrews said.
For his owner, having the lovable lizard back in his arms is a sigh of relief.
"You are now the most famous lizard in Georgetown. What do you have to say for yourself?" Vance laughed.
Sebastian is said to be people-friendly and a big eater. KVUE's told he loves hard boiled eggs, hot dogs, and hamburgers.
Lizards like Sebastian are allowed as pets if they are under six feet in length and not venomous. Sebastian is five feet long.