Meet Our Animals > Gila Monster
Quick Facts
Native to Southwestern U.S. and Northwestern Mexico
Primary Diet Small rodents, juvenile birds, bird eggs, frogs, lizards, insects, centipedes, worms, and sometimes carrion
Adult Weight 1.5 to 3 pounds
Lifespan 20 years
Status Near Threatened

Gila Monster

The Gila monster is named after the Gila River in Arizona and is the most venomous lizard native to the U.S. The Gila monster eats large meals infrequently, with a fat reserve stored in its tail, and can consume a meal of one-third of its body weight. They are immune to their own venom — when two males decide to fight over a female, the venom from their bites won’t kill their opponent.


For faster entry: Members and pre-ticketed guests, park at West End (enter at 106th St).