A picture of a Gila monster.
A picture of a Gila monster.

Gila Monster


The gila mosntar is a venomous lizard native to the south-western United States and the northern part of Mexico.

A picture of a Gila monster.

Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum) sleeping. Toronto Zoo, Americas exhibit.

Even though gila monsters are venomous they move so slowly that they pose very little danger to humans.
They are protected in the United States yet people kill them, mostly out of sheer ignorance.

Other people for some strange reason believe that gila monsters make a good pet and keep one. While they are beautiful animals they don’t particularly like interacting with humans and they do bite — which is not much fun when your pet has venom on its teeth. In fact gila monster bites can be life threatening.

Gila monsters use their tails to store fat, just like a camel stores fat in its hump so that they can survive for a while when food is not available.

Further Readings:
Reticulate gila monster on the Toronto Zoo website.
Gila monster on Arkive.
Gila monster on Discover Southeast Arizona.
Gila monster on A-Z animals.
As a pet: Gila Monster Captive Care and Breeding.
What to do when a gila monster bites you.
Gila monster on Wikipedia.

Last updated: July 3, 2014

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