Animal control officer Jenny Selter responded to a 2:30 p.m. call about a “huge” lizard in the complex.
“She said she saw it and almost jumped back in her truck,” said John Welsh, spokesman for Riverside County Animal Services, as reported by The Associated Press. “The residents were freaking out because here’s the Godzilla-like creature walking down the sidewalk.”
The department said Selter used a catch pole – a long pole equipped with a loop that is usually used to catch vicious dogs – to capture the reptile. A police officer had to hold onto the lizard’s body while Selter held onto its tail. Together they loaded it into her truck.
Welsh said authorities believe the lizard is an escaped pet.
The carnivorous reptiles, which are native to the African grasslands and parts of Asia, are not illegal to keep in the state.