- If you live alone, and you drop dead in your apartment
one day, you don't want to have six-feet-long, flesh-eating monitor lizards
running around the place.
- You just don't.
- Because they're not going to get fed, and they're going
to get hungry, and you're going to be lying there, and like we said,
- And, aw, jeez, you don't want to have them running around
- This is apparently what happened to poor Ronald Huff,
of Newark, Del., who kept seven Nile monitor lizards as pets, and well,
you can stop reading here if you want.
- Huff hadn't been seen since Sunday, and when police went
to his studio apartment yesterday morning to check on him, at the request
of his family, they found him on the floor, dead, and some of his
pet lizards were...are you sure you want to keep reading?
- Well, OK, they were "feeding" on his
- "They did a considerable amount of damage to this
gentleman's face," said John E. Caldwell, executive director of the
- Huff was 42, and police say they don't know how or why
he died, though the state medical examiner's office is doing an autopsy.
There were no signs of foul play, said Newcastle County Police spokesman
- Police won't speculate on whether the lizards actually
attacked and killed their master. But Caldwell doubts it.
- "I think this gentleman died of natural
he said. "I don''t think the lizards killed him. Without being fed
for two to three days, they took advantage of the situation due to
- Had Huff been alive, he would have been able to fend
off a monitor lizard, said Caldwell.
- Huff's lizards, which he kept despite a county ban on
them, ranged in length from 2 feet to about 6 feet, and from 2 pounds to
25 pounds, Caldwell said.
- Two of the lizards were in handmade, wooden, crate-like
cages, though five were running loose in the apartment, said animal-control
officer John Saville.
- Caldwell said the lizards seemed to have free run of
the apartment. Holes were cut in doorways for them to go through.
- The SPCA also found several large plastic containers
of hissing Madagascar roaches, a common pet-food for lizards, said
They also found a cat, which was in good shape.
- The lizards themselves seemed to be no worse for the
wear, said Caldwell.
- "They looked good," he said. "They were
healthy and robust."
- The SPCA will try to get the cat adopted, and place the
lizards with a zoo, or with a professional who takes lizards around to
schools to teach students about reptiles.
- The roaches, said Caldwell, "were disposed
- If you follow the gossip columns, you may remember that
last summer, Sharon Stone's husband's barefooted toe was bitten by a
lizard at the Los Angeles Zoo.
- Don't ask.