Asian monitor lizards are a pretty common sight in Malaysia, despite the shock and awe that the creatures generally inspire when we encounter them crawling out and about. Measuring up to 3 metres on average, most of us generally know better than to approach one up close, what with the oft-repeated warning that their bites can be dangerous due to possible bacterial infection.
Brave security guard ‘helicopter swings’ monitor lizard out of mall
However, a security guard who was working at a Sabah shopping mall recently threw caution to the wind quite literally, after coming face-to-face with an Asian monitor lizard that had been trespassing outside a row of shops. While one’s knee-jerk reaction would be to steer clear of the reptile, the security guard decided to take a road less travelled and ventured up close to the creature.
.@KKCity guard seen in this clip tossing away in "helicopter swing" monitor lizard which crawled into public space.
Accompanying music is hilarious, but questions: Was helicopter swing necessary? Drive-by suitable place to throw it to? Car ran over it? Was this animal cruelty? pic.twitter.com/g4eqcINst1
— Daily Express Sabah (@DailyExpress_MY) December 11, 2021
Grabbing the monitor lizard by its tail, he proceeded to swing the reptile around in what can only be described as a tactically chosen ‘helicopter swing’ maneuver as he jogged out towards an open driveway. For a moment, he almost appears to have lost his grip on the lizard’s tail when it managed to latch itself against a plastic chair’s leg by biting against it, but the courageous knight in white uniform made certain that the reptile couldn’t scurry free.
Mustering a great deal of might, he proceeded to fling the monitor lizard right out into the open driveway, far from reach of other patrons who were sauntering around the mall at the time.
But was it animal cruelty?
The video, which has since been shared across social media to the amusement of many Malaysians, has earned the guard high praise for his quick thinking. However, others have expressed concern over the condition of the monitor lizard, and wondered if the act could constitute as a form of animal cruelty.
Netizens have since pointed out in response that the security guard had no choice but to resort to the ‘helicopter swing’ maneuver in order to prevent the monitor lizard from reaching backwards to bite him.
Another netizen has gone on to mention that true animal cruelty would lie in unscrupulous acts of deforestation committed by human beings, leaving these creatures without a habitat of their own.
It is worth noting that the Malaysian Department of Wildlife and National Parks (PERHILITAN) has mentioned that while attacks by these reptiles are generally rare in the country, they do happen. However, they are generally shy by nature and would often evade conflict, unless intentionally provoked into defending themselves.
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