PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 12:00am

VILLAGE TAIL: A 1.5-metre water monitor lizard weighing about 30kg is caged after a 30-minute 'tug-of-war' between the reptile and Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation officers who retrieved it from under a van in Ma On Shan last night.

Although the officers managed to place a rope around the reptile's neck when firemen jacked up the vehicle, it clung tightly to one of the pipes under the vehicle with its sharp claws. It was later taken to the Animal Management Centre and will be examined by a vet today before deciding whether it should be set free.

To Tau villagers said that earlier in the day they had thought the creature was a crocodile before it darted away and disappeared. But last night they saw it climb down a tree and dart under the van and decided it was time to call in the experts.