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Mumbai: In a record first, 16 monitor lizards born in captivity

Updated on: 20 May,2024 07:05 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Ranjeet Jadhav |

This is Maharashtra’s first officially documented instance of such an event

Mumbai: In a record first, 16 monitor lizards born in captivity

The hatched lizards at RAWW for dedicated care and rehabilitation

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Mumbai: In a record first, 16 monitor lizards born in captivity

After 217 days in captivity in Mumbai, sixteen monitor lizard eggs have successfully hatched, marking a significant milestone in Maharashtra’s wildlife conservation efforts. This is considered the state’s first officially documented instance of such an event.

Last October, the Mumbai Range of the Forest Department rescued a female monitor lizard from a heavily populated area. Shortly after the rescue, the lizard laid 44 eggs, and both the mother and her eggs were then entrusted to the Resqink Association for Wildlife Welfare (RAWW) for dedicated care and rehabilitation.

Honorary Wildlife Warden of Thane and President of NGO RAWW, Pawan Sharma, said, “The female reptile was stressed and a little weak after laying eggs. She was kept under observation for a week after which she was declared fit by Dr Priti Sathe and later released back into the wild in coordination with the Forest Department.”

According to Chinmay Joshi, Zoologist and Secretary of RAWW, “The eggs were secured and kept under a controlled environment in captivity for incubation under supervision.” “Some eggs were damaged from the time they were laid, some were infertile and some were also damaged due to the heatwave,” added Joshi.

After 217 days, 16 young ones have successfully hatched and according to the NGO, the young ones will be medically examined and then released back to their natural habitat in coordination with the Forest Department.

The Indian monitor lizard is protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and any trade involving the animal or its body parts is an offence under the Act. The lizards are usually hunted for food and also killed for leather. There is also a belief that the oil extracted from the lizard’s body can be used as an ointment for skin injuries.

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