Westfield man charged with importing illegal lizards

Dwarf Caiman/Vt. Fish and Wildlife

WESTFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) A Westfield man has been charged with importing illegal lizards.

Vermont Fish and a Wildlife officials say they received a tip on Facebook that Raymond Barlow, 29, was keeping a water monitor lizard and a dwarf caiman in his home. Armed with a search warrant, game wardens went to his home and seized the illegal lizards and turned them over to a Massachusetts rehabilitation facility.

Officials say the dwarf caimans are similar to crocodiles and can grow over five feet in length and that water monitors are the second largest lizard in the world behind the closely-related Komodo dragon. They can weigh over 100 pounds and grow to over six feet in length. The bite of a water monitor produces rapid and painful swelling.

In addition to being dangerous, officials say the exotic species can cause disrupt ecosystems and cause disease among wild populations.

Barlow faces fines up to $722.

Water monitor/Vt. Fish and Wildlife