HOLYOKE (CBS) — An undercover officer working with the Massachusetts Environmental Police arrested a person they say tried to illegally sell them a three-foot-long lizard.

The Nile Monitor is native to Africa, and can grow up to seven feet in length–but it’s against the law to own them in the Bay State without a permit.

That’s why a post on a Facebook group advertising a Nile Monitor for sale caught the attention of the state Environmental Police over the weekend.

The Nile Monitor lizard recovered by the undercover officer. (Mass. Environmental Police)

In a post on their Facebook page Wednesday, they said an undercover officer contacted the seller and arranged to meet them at the Holyoke Mall on Tuesday to buy the reptile.

At the meeting, officers recovered the lizard and charged the seller, who has not been named, with possession of wildlife without a permit.

The lizard was taken to a licensed reptile facility.

More information about state laws regarding keeping wildlife as pets can be found on mass.gov.


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