Animal

Owner ordered to keep his pet lizard on a lead as it scares the dogs


A man who has a giant lizard as his pet has been ordered to hold it on a leash when he takes him for a walk – as it scares dogs.

Gary Smith, 54, was imposed the restrictions for his 5ft 9in critter after dozens of dog owners complained the lizard may attack their pets or even injure children.

The dad-of-one, from Derby, was originally given a total ban on taking the lizard Thor in Markeaton Park, Derby.

Gary Smith was initially banned from walking the lizard in public (Picture: SWNS)

But town hall chiefs have overturned that saying Gary may walk with his three-stone, black-throated monitor so long he keeps him on a lead.

The 54-year-old said he has taken all measures to ensure his lizard is no menace.

Thor must be kept on a leash amid fears he may scare dogs (Picture: SWNS)

Defending his creature, he said: ‘He could do a lot of damage, his claws could slice your arm or head open.

‘But that would be very out of character. Thor has a really cool temperament, he’s not aggressive.

‘When he’s had enough, he’ll whip his tail around. Some people get scared an thing all reptiles will do is bite and scratch you.

‘But I want to show that is not the case.’

The black-throated monitor is five feet nine (Picture: SWNS)

Smith bought Thor to add to his collection of 31 snakes, six lizards and seven spiders which he keeps at his home in Sinfin, Derby.

The lorry driver described his pet as a ‘strong lad’ who is ‘used to being touched and handled’.

Smith said Thor is used to being handled (Picture: SWNS)

He described their routine saying: ‘I tend to walk Thor in the summer time and basically when the weather is good.

‘He loves the trees and water in the park, he likes to get his claws into the trees. He eats braising steak about four times a week, he’ll eat rats and fruit.

‘He gets more active when his temperature gets warmer, so when it’s colder he’s not that active.’





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