I encountered this cute creature on the hike on camelback. This is my second sighting of a chuckwalla lizard. I hear they are popular on Camelback and love to sun themselves. They are not poisonous. And are more likely to run from you. But they can be brave as this one showed to be.
They are sooo cute! The first one I saw two weeks ago was about a foot in length from head to tip of tail. This one seemed to be deflated because the first one had its side out thus creating the shape of a turtle's back.
I waited for about a minute before the lizard got brave and showed itself on the rock. I guess it did not mind me standing there. A guy came down the trail and saw the lizard and exclaimed, "It's a gila monster! A really, really small one." I told him it was a chuckwalla lizard. "Really? Are you sure?" "Yes, I am sure." I looked it up two weeks ago. And told him we would be in big trouble if it was a gila monster. They are poisonous. I hear that they sink their jaws deep into the skin and send out the poison that way. That's got to hurt and no way I am going to find out first hand. And chuckwallas are harmless. And all of this time the chuckwalla remained where it was. Perhaps thinking we did not see it anymore?
I will keep posted the wildlife sightings on Camelback. Temps are rising now (upper 80s) so more animals will be coming out in the warm weather.