Illegal giant gecko found at Queen Kaahumanu Elementary School

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An illegal lizard was captured Tuesday on the grounds of Queen Kaahumanu Elementary School in Honolulu.

The school custodian had reported seeing a large lizard on campus and called the state’s pest hotline. The custodian provided a photo of the lizard and it was identified as a Madagascar giant day gecko by plant quarantine inspectors with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

Department inspectors went out to the school Tuesday morning, and with the help of the custodian, was able to locate the lizard and capture it at about 8:30 a.m.

The lizard appeared to be an adult and measured about a foot long; however, the lizard lost its tail during the capture.

Inspectors continue to survey the area this week to see if there are any other lizards in the area.

Madagascar giant day geckos are bright green in color and are distinguished by a red stripe from the nostrils to the eyes. They also have orange spots on their back and may grow up to a foot long. It is sometimes confused with the gold dust day gecko which is more common in Hawaii and is smaller with yellowish-colored stripes from eye to eye.

As its name implies, the gecko is native to northern and northwestern Madagascar; however, small populations have been reported in Florida and Hawaii. It feeds on various insects, small vertebrates and nectars.

Any unusual lizards or other illegal animals should be reported to the toll-free pest hotline at 643-PEST (7378).

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