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San Diego Zoo to be temporary home to poisonous lizard found at Rancho Bernardo home

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The state Department of Fish and Game Wednesday approved the move of a venomous lizard discovered in Rancho Bernardo to the San Diego Zoo, a county animal official said.

The Mexican beaded lizard was found by a resident on Friday near Lunada Place and Polvera Drive, said Dan DeSousa of county Animal Services.

Authorities first thought it was a Gila monster, but the Mexican beaded lizard is actually a larger and more venomous cousin native to Mexico and Central America.

The reptile was held at the Animal Services facility in Carlsbad but was transferred to the zoo because staff didn't want to take any chances, he said.

"They're much more qualified to handle it," DeSousa said.

The zoo's Christina Simmons said the zoo will care for the lizard until county officials decide where it should be placed. If the county cannot make a determination, zoo officials will assist in finding it a new home, she said.

It is illegal to own a venomous reptile without a permit in San Diego County.

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