Lizard photo June 24

A 3-foot Nile monitor lizard like this one is living at Heritage Lake in Fisher, according to the village's police department.

FISHER — Fisher has its Bunnies, and now it has a lizard — a Nile monitor lizard.

The town’s police department alerted residents this week that a 3-foot lizard had escaped someone’s house and was roaming free in the area of Heritage Lake.

The department said in a Facebook post that the lizard does not appear to be vicious but encouraged residents to keep an eye on their small children and pets.

The department said an Illinois Department of Natural Resource reptile expert had been consulted and said it is best to leave the lizard where it resides in Heritage Lake.

“According to IDNR, the lizard should not bite unless it is threatened,” the post said. “It is still best practice to not approach the lizard if it is seen sun bathing.”

Fisher Police Chief Steve Bein said the lizard belonged to local residents.

“It got out when they were cleaning its container, and it is living in Heritage Lake,” Bein said. “Due to its size and species, it is not a danger unless someone would try to grab it. It’s going to be impossible to catch.”

He said a number of people have gone to the lake, which is located in a subdivision on the west side of town, to try to catch a glimpse of it.

“It’s a water-native creature,” Bein said. “It will just swim and stay underwater and then pop up like a turtle.”

The lizard will occasionally swim to the bank to sun itself.

He said the lizard is not likely to survive the winter, however.

Anyone who fishes in the lake and catches the lizard is asked to notify the department at 217-897-1184.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com