Savannah Monitor


These lizards can be found in the grassland savannas throughout western and eastern central Africa.

The name “Monitor” comes from the superstitious belief that the Nile Monitor lizard watched for the presence of Nile crocodiles and warned people of their approach. In reality, the Monitors were most likely in the area to forage for crocodile eggs, which is a favorite meal.

They are excellent predators that hunt during the cooler daylight hours for foods consisting of insects, birds, eggs, rodents and other reptiles.

Savannah Monitors have wind pipes that come up just behind the front lower teeth.That way they can have a throat full of food and still be able to breath.

Click HERE for a Monitor Activity Sheet!

Our Current Residents

Jack, Male - Hatched 2017

Jack the is a pet surrender. He came to the Zoo as a young lizard in 2018 and is slowly becoming more visible in his habitat. He can most often be seen by looking through the tree hole near his habitat.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Reptilia
  • Order: Squamata
  • Family: Varanidae
  • Genus: Varanus
  • Species: Varanus exanthematicus

Animal Facts

  • Carnivore
  • Common
  • Grasslands
  • Diurnal

Our Animals