Hampshire family keeps 40lb lizard as pet and says he loves to ‘walk’

Rex is more of a puppy than a reptile (Image: SWNS)

Hi Rex, a 40lb, 6ft long monitor lizard lives with a family of four in Andover, Hampshire.

While it’s not your usual house pet, Rex’s owner, Matt Reid, 38, says it’s more of a puppy than a reptile and enjoys ‘walking’ while walking.

Rex enjoys walking with his children Leighton, 11, and Kailah, seven, and even enjoys sunbathing and bathing weekly.

Matt said: “I see Rex as one of a million lizards. ‘Rex has a kind and docile personality, he loves his food, he loves to sunbathe and he loves his bath.

‘He takes a shower every week and when he’s had enough he climbs out and takes himself downstairs.

‘I suppose he’s pretty scary for some but for me he’s a puppy.

‘When I got home from work, he went out and roamed around the garden and house because he was too big to be locked up.

‘If the weather is nice over the weekend, I take him for walks as far as he likes, Rex won’t walk where he wants to go! Rex gets a big reaction when out, people are either shocked, scared or amused.

Rex and his owner Matt (Image: SWNS)

‘People always stop to ask questions and take pictures, there’s never a dull moment when I take him out. “

He continued: ‘I had to own the pet of my dreams, to learn his ways and educate others as well as these animals as they can be poorly portrayed.

‘He’s so rare and like owning a small modern-day dinosaur!’

Matt, a paint sprayer, has been raising reptiles for 20 years but stopped when he and his wife Cordella, 36, had their first daughter.

However, Matt used his time in captivity to build gardens in the garden for future scaly pets. And so Rex was adopted.

“As soon as I saw Rex for sale, I didn’t hesitate because I’ve always dreamed of having a dog-sized tame lizard around the house,” he explains.

Rex loves ‘walkies’ (Image: SWNS)

The journey to pick up Rex from Doncaster took 8 hours but Matt says it was well worth it and Rex is now living a pampered life with their other exotic pets; two gaurs, two chinchillas and a three-and-a-half meter tegu called Littlefoot.

Matt spends around £15 a week on Rex and his diet consists of mice, rabbits, guinea pigs and chicks, all kept in purpose-built freezers.

To be fair, the diet is working because Rex has a circumference of 28 inches and a forearm circumference of 7 inches – the same as Matt’s wrist.

This reptile is also toilet trained.

Matt explains: “When Rex wants to go into the garden to do his business, he goes out the back door and scratches it to get out, he usually does business in the same area of ​​the garden.

‘I haven’t trained him to do much but he is very smart and knows where his bed is and goes to sleep on his own when tired and gets enough sleep.’

Rex was described as ‘docile’ (Image: SWNS)

Rex’s species is native to Tanzania but can be kept as pets in the UK by experienced reptile keepers.

They can live up to 30 years and can reach 30kg in weight and 7 feet in length as an adult.

Their strong bite releases a venom that can prevent blood clotting in humans and requires hospitalization.

‘Rex is as docile as a pet can come, however he is a 6 foot long, 40lb lizard with 1-inch long claws and razor sharp teeth, so I am always aware of that. hey, especially when he’s around people he doesn’t know,’ Matt notes.

‘I followed him and read any signs that he was feeling threatened or stressed, he never showed it.

‘Its first sign of attack will be puffing and hissing, then it will whip you with its tail, biting you is its last thing. “

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Hampshire family keeps 40lb lizard as pet and say he loves ‘walkies’ on a lead


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