A monitor lizard that had got stuck in the gap between two concrete blocks in the median divider in New Town’s Action Area II was rescued on Monday.
A group of residents spotted the lizard desperately trying to free itself from the gap in the divider and formed a protective ring around the animal to prevent anyone from harming it.
Initially taken aback, the residents decided to stand in front of the gap as people passing by on bikes had stopped and some even tried to lob stones and sticks at the lizard.
New Town resident Maurya Sen, who was seeing a monitor lizard outside a zoo for the first time, said she realised that the animal might get killed and decided to ask others to help.
“I was quite frightened when I saw the monitor lizard. But then I realised that it might get killed and decided to step in and prevent anyone from getting close to it or throwing anything at it. To ensure that we have to form a ring around the monitor lizard,” Sen said.
Another resident alerted Samaresh Das, a member of the New Town Forum and News, an association of residents of the town-ship.
Das in turn called the forest department’s Wildlife Rescue and Transit Centre at Baisakhi, in Salt Lake, and sought their help.
“As soon as I received the call, I alerted the forest department and they sent a team,” Das said.
After receiving the alert, officials from the rescue centre called up Sen and asked her to tell her the exact location where the monitor lizard was trapped.
“Our team reached the spot within 30 minutes of getting the call,” said the official.
The animal had turned aggressive in self-defence as there were people all around.
“We rescued the lizard using a stick and took it to the Wildlife Rescue and Transit Centre, where a veterinarian examined it,” the official said.
“It was exhausted. We will keep it under observation for some time before releasing it back into the wild.”
Residents of the area, however, said they were surprised to spot the monitor lizard because there are no water bodies in the area and the stretch is quite busy as a shopping mall and a number of shops are nearby.