ATTICA, N.Y. (WROC) — The Attica Police Department is warning the public about a Nile monitor lizard that escaped its owner.

According to police, on July 29, while a resident was moving out of his apartment his 4 and a half foot Nile monitor lizard escaped its cage.

“While attempting to recapture the reptile the lizard climbed over 100 feet into a tree near the apartment building. Several attempts were made to recapture the lizard without success. The owner and animal control set several live traps to recapture the animal again without success,” officials said in a statement.

The APD said it received unconfirmed reports over the next few days that the lizard had made its into the Tonawanda Creek, which is located across the street from the apartment building.

On Monday, a resident saw the lizard in her backyard in the 200 block of Exchange Street. However after an extensive search by police, the reptile could not be located.

“The police department is in contact with the New York State DEC and working to resolve the matter. In the meantime, if you see the animal contact the police department immediately. Do not approach it. The lizard will bite, it does secrete a venom however it is not fatal to humans. The main cause for concern would be bacterial infection from the bite,” officials said in a statement.

The Nile monitor lizard requires temperatures ranging between 82 to 90 degrees and will warm itself in sunny areas. Its main source of food is small rodents and on occasion large mice and rats.

This is a developing story. News 8 WROC will provide updates as they become available.