4-Foot Lizard Rescued After Being Stuck in Toilet for Nearly a Week

After a 4-foot-long lizard became trapped in a household bathroom nearly one week ago, a local Snake Helpline managed to finally free the reptile from the toilet on Thursday.

According to a report from The New Indian Express, a family in the Kapileswar Vihar area of Bhubaneswar, India, heard noises coming from the bathroom on Sunday, July 4. Upon inspection, they realized that a Bengal monitor lizard wound up there.

The frightened family reportedly opened a window and sprinkled bleach powder, assuming that the lizard would make its way out of the house on its own. After five days, they realized the lizard needed assistance getting out, and called on the local Snake Helpline to remove the creature.

"I checked the possible entry points and found that the four-foot-long monitor lizard had entered into the bathroom through the ventilation window after it climbed a pipe outside the wall. It, however, failed to escape because of the glazed tiles," volunteer Rajesh Sutar told The New Indian Express.

By the time Sutar arrived, the lizard's head became stuck in the toilet. Footage obtained by OTV News shows how he used a snake hook to free the reptile. The video ends as Sutar guides the reptile into a bag in order to remove it from the premises. It was reportedly released outside the city in a safe location.

"I am happy that we could help the family and rescue the reptile without further delay. Monitor lizards, found in the region, are usually harmless. However, people who come across such situations should immediately take help of experts," Snake Helpline General Secretary Subhendu Mallik told The New Indian Express.

This is not the first time that a reptile has been discovered inside a toilet bowl. According to a report from Inverse, it is not uncommon for reptiles—namely snakes—to make their way into human toilets.

"[Reptiles] may be looking for water or tracking prey animals that entered leaky pipes," herpetologist and State Director for the Government of the Virgin Islands' Fish and Wildlife division Nicole F. Angeli told the outlet in 2017. "They could also simply be looking for a nice cool place to hide."

4-foot lizard trapped in toilet for week
A 4-foot lizard managed to get its head stuck in a household toilet in India, and was rescued nearly one week after getting stuck. Above, a monitor lizard in Singapore. ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Pythons in particular have been involved in multiple toilet incidents in recent months, although reports of related bites are fortunately not common.

Last month, the company Tableland Snake Catchers was called to remove a python that had taken up residence inside the toilet in Queensland, Australia. It was quickly discovered that the snake had made its way into the toilet by entering an open inspection point near the home and moving through the pipes. No bites or other injuries were reported.

In March, a 45-year-old man in Thailand came close to being bitten after sitting down on a toilet and noticing something bump his rear end—he soon discovered it was a large python. Video posted online shows an emergency responder pulling the snake out of the toilet.

Just a few weeks ago, an Austrian man found an albino python measuring over 5 feet in his toilet. This reptile was more violent than its predecessors, and managed to bite the 65-year-old victim "in the area of the genitals."

"It happens!" Angeli told Inverse. "I had a friend who found a ground lizard [Ameiva exul] crawl in through the pipe that connected to her washing machine, went through a wash cycle, and survived."

Newsweek reached out to Angeli as well as the Herpetologist's League for additional comment but did not hear back in time for publication. Newsweek was also not able to reach the Snake Helpline.