How could I NOT do a post about the monitor lizards in Guam! I first saw one while on the River Boat Cruise sitting up in a tree catching some rays. I wasn’t too creeped out by it either! The next time time I saw two laying out in the sun on the road to Marbo Cave. These ones were about double the size of the first one I saw and they had bright yellow dots all over. At first I thought they were dead because they weren’t moving, then suddenly they lifted their legs and walked into the jungle. I was so creeped out, they look so much like alligators!
Then on a walk down the steps at Oka viewpoint I heard something big jump into the bushes and Peter, who was ahead of me, said it was a huge monitor lizard that was about 5 feet long from nose to tail!!! It’s a good thing I didn’t see that one!! The one in the photos is from Chamorro Village where they have it sitting out for people to pet. For a small donation Peter held the creature, while I took a few photos while saying “Gross!” That’s probably really rude of me. I did have the courage to touch it though, just once. The claws are pretty intimidating and the tail means serious business. These are harmless creatures, but I’m pretty sure they would eat me if they wanted to.
How could I NOT do a blog post about the cutest of all creatures on Guam…the GECKO! These little guys are abundant all over the island. Initially, I thought I would be purely horrified at the sight of them, but no, I was not afraid of them at all! My fear was at ease partially due to the stories my sister used to write for me when I was a kid about me and my pet gecko, and partially because they are more afraid of me than I of them.
Now, don’t get these confused with lizzards. Geckos have sticky feet and can climb walls and are a lot smaller. They make this really strange noise that I can’t even begin to describe, but it has become normal to me as cricket noises were back in The States. Geckos often get inside and can sometimes be a bit annoying when they leave their mess in hard to reach places.
They eat bugs mostly and can change color depending on their surroundings. The cutest thing I think are baby geckos, which are no bigger than half of my pinky!
There aren’t too many animals on Guam to be feared and probably nothing dangerous, BUT this GIANT spider was waiting for me one evening when I got home from bowling and I was terrified. I walked into the bathroom to wash my hands in the sink, whilst having a conversation with Peter when, “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHhh!!!!” This monster was sitting in the sink! Peter and I saw it at the same time, he grabbed me and we ran out of the bathroom. It is the biggest spider I’ve ever seen outside of a zoo. We then planned how and what we were going to do to remove it from our home. First we thought we’d spray it with raid, then maybe try to smash it with a shoe, then we finally settled on somehow picking it up and flushing it down the toilet. I’d heard that these spiders were fast and could jump, so I was afraid that it might try something tricky. I think it was nearly dead because it didn’t move much when Peter picked it up in a shoe box and dumped it in the toilet. Down it went. I’m not completely sure, but this might be a wolf spider. The photograph doesn’t even do it justice. It was about the size of my palm! Again, I was creeped out the rest of WEEK! I figured that it came in because it had been raining a lot that day. We will never know! Yuck.
One day Peter and I went for a walk and when we came back home THIS was sitting on our window ledge. A brown tree snake! I actually noticed it from a distance and froze in place, pointed and then screamed of course! I was yelling, “Can’t we call someone to get rid of it?!” and Peter replied, “Call who?!”
Apparently there are about 2 million of these creatures on the island! I’ve seen snakes before, on hikes and while camping, but NEVER had one waiting for me in front of my house!
Sadly (for the snake) we had to get rid of it and by we I mean Peter. There are traps for these snakes throughout the entire island. They are threatening to birds, including the ko’ko bird which is endemic to Guam. We live in Tumon on the main strip, so it was shocking to see something that I thought would only be in the jungle.
The rest of the evening I was freaked out and scared, imagining snakes sneaking in through the cracks and under the covers. I shudder just thinking about it!