Monitor lizard pokes its head into tortoise shell in Punggol Park

Submitted by Stomper Lela

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It's no Godzilla versus Gamera.

"Komodo dragon eating tortoise carcass?" asked Stomper Lela. "Or is it a monitor lizard? Not sure."

She was referring to a video she took at Punggol Park of a reptile poking its head into a shell of a tortoise. Or is it a turtle?

According to the National Parks Board (NParks) website: "A tortoise’s shell is more rounded and dome-like while a turtle’s shell tends to be thinner, flatter and/or more streamlined."

It's difficult to tell in the video, but the shell may belong to a turtle.

And it can't be a Komodo dragon because even though it is a species of monitor lizard, the Komodo dragon is mostly found only in Indonesia.

In Singapore, the most common monitor lizard species is the Malayan water monitor lizard, which can grow up to 3m long.

Lela said she was just taking "my little one out strolling at the park for fresh air" on Sunday (May 22) when she spotted the creature.

She told Stomp that it was scary and she felt concerned for the safety of the people around the area.

But are monitor lizards really dangerous?

According to the NParks website: "They are naturally shy and would rather stay away from humans. Like most wild animals, they do not attack unless provoked. As long as you keep your distance and leave them alone, you will be fine."

NParks also says monitor lizards feed on a huge variety of food types, such as insects, crabs, snakes and fish.

Perhaps NParks should add tortoise to the list. Or turtle.