Colorado Man Dies After Pet Gila Monster Bites Him in Rare Incident

Credits: San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants

A tragic incident unfolded in Lakewood, Colorado, when a 34-year-old man died days after being bitten by one of his two pet Gila monsters, according to a statement from the Lakewood Police.

The incident came to light when Jeffcom, the emergency communications center in Jefferson County, received a 911 call reporting an animal bite around 11:45 p.m. on Feb. 12.  The victim, whose identity has not been disclosed at the request of his family, was swiftly transported to the hospital for treatment.

The bite was later confirmed to be from a Gila monster, a venomous lizard native to the southwestern United States. Unfortunately, despite medical intervention, the victim succumbed to the effects of the bite four days later.

Pet Gila Monster (Credits: KSL News)

The Lakewood Police clarified that the initial call was categorized as a medical emergency, and agents did not respond on-site that evening. The subsequent investigation revealed the involvement of a pet Gila monster in the tragic incident.

The day after the emergency call, Lakewood Animal Control Officers, with support from the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, went to the victim’s residence.

Their mission was to safely remove the two Gila monsters from the premises and transfer them to a wildlife facility located in another state.

The statement from the police did not provide details about the circumstances leading to the bite or the specific challenges posed by keeping Gila monsters as pets. Gila monsters are known for their venomous bite, and encounters with these reptiles can pose risks to humans.

This unfortunate incident highlights the importance of understanding the nature and risks associated with keeping exotic pets, especially those with venomous capabilities.

Authorities and animal control agencies play a crucial role in responding to such incidents, ensuring the welfare of both humans and the animals involved.

As the investigation continues, the focus will likely shift to addressing any potential legal or safety concerns related to the ownership of venomous reptiles as pets.

The case serves as a sobering reminder of the responsibilities and potential dangers associated with caring for wildlife in a domestic setting.

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