Officials at a highway checkpoint in Thailand were just going about their business, inspecting what looked like a truckload of fruit the other day, when they found not mangos, not durians, but crates full of 1,800 enormous lizards. That's a bitch. The Bengal monitor lizards can grow longer than five feet and weigh close to 20 pounds. They're not poisonous, but if you have thousands of them they present a disposal problem.

The Associated Press reports:

Customs Department chief Prasong Poontaneat said Friday he suspects the lizards were destined to be eaten. He said their meat sells for $7.50-$15 per pound ($16-$33 per kilogram) in China, making them worth more than $60,000.

International trade in the reptiles is banned. In Thailand, illegal sale of wildlife carries a penalty of up to four years in prison and a fine of $1,300.

So what to do with all those lizards? Well, unfortunately the checkpoint was in Southern Thailand, so they could conceivably release them into the forest or something. Too bad they didn't make it to Bangkok where they could have caused some serious hilarity.

[via Associated Press]

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