SPRING VALLEY (CNS) - This is one monitor that needs to be more closely monitored.
"Bubbles," a 5 1/2-foot exotic lizard that serves as a popular mascot of sorts at an East County pet shop, is back where he belongs as Friday, five days after he apparently got an irresistible yen to roam.
The disappearance of the roughly 5-year-old black-throated monitor -- the reptile made his escape by pushing his way past a cage blocking a back door -- led to a modest flurry of publicity, and one of those news accounts directly led to his return, said Jim Kmet, manager of Bubbles' home, Mike's Pets in Spring Valley.
It seems a Los Angeles man in the San Diego area on business heard a radio report about the errant reptile on Thursday and, finding himself in the neighborhood, stopped by the Paradise Valley Road store to help track down the creature.
On a hillside about 75 yards behind the store, the out-of-towner came across the footloose lizard sunning himself on top of a patch of hillside foliage, Kmet said. The area had been repeatedly searched since Sunday, but Bubbles had managed to remain undetected.
"Obviously, he found a good hiding spot," the store manager said.
The cold-blooded quarry initially was not keen on giving up his freedom.
"He didn't event recognize us (at first) ... . He got a wild instinct just from four days," Kmet said. "It took him a long time to calm down."
Once back at the strip-mall business where he has lived for several years, Bubbles, notably hungry and thirsty, seemed content to be out of the elements again.
Bubbles' worrisome breakout will lead to added precautions -- possibly including a rear screen door at the pet shop -- to keep him from going on the lam again, according to Kmet.
"It was unfortunate, but we learned our lesson," he said.
A search is underway for two men wanted in connection with an armed robbery at an East Lake home in the 1600 block of Claret Cup Drive late Saturday night.
Rady's Children's Hospital welcomed hundreds of former NICU patients and their families Sunday for a very special annual reunion. The group had the chance to say thank you and catch up with the doctors and nurses who helped care for the newborns.
San Diegans now have to dial 10 digits for all calls - even local calls. As of Saturday, May 19, callers with area codes 619 and 858 have to enter the area code for all calls. Landline callers will have to dial one first, then the area code and phone number.
Several fires that ignited across San Diego County last week are under investigation. One cause being considered is the possibility that the fires were started by homeless people.
Dozens demonstrated on the Del Mar corner of Jimmy Durante Blvd. and Via de la Valle saying gun shows should not be held at the the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
A fire at an apartment in downtown Chula Vista sent two children to a hospital early Saturday morning.
Mesa College will award the first bachelor's degrees in its history during a commencement ceremony today, the college announced.
Sharp Hospital on Friday recognized those who have overcome major medical setbacks to become leaders in the community during the 28th Annual Victories of Spirit celebration.