April 22, 2024

Rocky Daily News

Colorado Politics-Sports-Business-Weather

Colorado man died after a Gila monster bite. Opinions and laws on keeping the lizard as a pet vary.

1 min read


By Mead Gruver, The Associated Press

A Colorado man who died after getting bitten by a Gila monster was hardly alone in having the gnarly looking lizard for a pet.

They’re legal to own in most states, easily found through breeders and at reptile shows, and widely regarded for their striking color patterns and typically easygoing personality.

But while 34-year-old Christopher Ward’s death Friday may have been the first from a Gila monster in the U.S. in almost a century, the creature’s bite is well-known to be excruciating — and venomous. For that reason, some question the wisdom of keeping the species as pets.

“It’s like getting your hand slammed, caught in a car door,” Arizona State University professor Dale DeNardo said of the lizard’s bite. “Even that…

The Associated Press

2024-02-22 08:15:21

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