(RANCHO BERNARDO, Calif.) — A California family got an unusual — and potentially dangerous — surprise for the holidays when a Gila monster showed up in their yard.
“It looked like something you see at the Wild Animal Park,” mom Jennifer Giorgetta told ABC News affiliate KGTV. “The thing was two feet. … [With] black and yellow stripes with this beaded skin.”
After finding the lizard Friday, Giorgetta said she called animal control.
Lt. Dan DeSousa of the San Diego County Animal Services said he’d never seen a Gila monster in San Diego County. They come from the deserts mainly in Arizona and Nevada.
“This is a first,” he said.
The lizard is now being held in Carlsbad.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Chandrika Narayan, CNN
Jason Hanna and Deborah Feyerick, CNN
Doug Criss and Emily Smith, CNN
Sarah Anderson, Deseret News