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Utah Names Gila Monster As Official State Reptile

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah has named a venomous lizard with black and yellow bead-like scales as its state reptile.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signed a bill into law last week that adds the Gila monster to the list of state symbols.

Republican state Rep. Lowry Snow had sponsored the bill after students at Lava Ridge Intermediate School in Santa Clara had lobbied the lawmaker.

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According to the state Division of Wildlife Resources, the lizard can be found in Snow Canyon State Park in southwestern Utah. People are likely to see the monsters during daytime hours in April and May and on warm summer nights.

The lizard is named after the Gila River, a Colorado River tributary that flows through Arizona and into New Mexico.

The lizards are found across the Southwest.