Monitor Lizards in Bangkok, Thailand – Huge and a Bit Scary

monitor lizard thailand

Yes, there are monitor lizards in Bangkok, Thailand

If you spend time around nature in Bangkok, Thailand (and yes, we still have a lot of it), you might be surprised to suddenly come across what looks like a cross between a big snake and a crocodile.

These creatures are called monitor lizards, and can still be seen in the wild in a few areas of Bangkok, but particularly in Lumphini Park.

They do, however, occasionally pop up on average Bangkok streets. Something I discovered a couple of years ago.

In fact, I had never seen a monitor lizard in Bangkok up close and personal, until I came home from work early one afternoon just in time to see the security guards at my apartment building in Bangkok unceremoniously shoving a small one into a sack.

Apparently it had nonchalantly wandered into the foyer of my apartment building, and taken a look around.

Related: How to catch a snake in Thailand — watch this video, as this Thai guy did an amazing job!

Of course, the security guards grabbed it and likely, unfortunately, probably sold it to a restaurant that would cook it up for their customers – as against the law as that might be.

Can monitor lizards in Bangkok be dangerous?

Yes. Absolutely. They bite and have extremely long and strong claws. Plus, if provoked, particularly by a small animal like a dog or a cat, they can be deadly to it.

After all, they eat chicken, snakes, fish, rats and birds primarily, so a small dog or cat really is not that much different.

Interestingly, in Thailand too, one of the worst things you can call anyone is the Thai word for monitor lizard or “ihea”. Technically just meaning ‘monitor lizard’ it also has the connotation of being as bad as the American term “motherf*cker”.

Related: What to do if you are bitten by a snake in Bangkok, Thailand

Thai kids delight in using it, of course, as it is a very very bad thing to say.

Watch the short video below of a monitor lizard in Lumphini Park in Bangkok, just to see how big they can get. Yep, they are pretty big.

And let’s just say, those crows are a lot braver than I would be.