Perenties are the biggest monitor lizard in Australia, reaching lengths of 2 metres or more. Perenties display a forked tongue, long slender neck, flattened head, strong tail, powerful legs with 5 clawed toes and numerous sharp-curved backward-pointing teeth.
Perenties can be found living in arid regions from Western Queensland to coastal Western Australia, usually around rocky hills and outcrops. They can also be seen finding shelter in burrows which they dig with their powerful front legs and claws. These shelters can be extensive and have several escape exits.
Perenties are very efficient predators. They forage widely on turtle eggs, insects, birds, other reptiles (including juvenile Perenties), mammals and carrion. On some of the islands they are often seen scavenging on the beaches for carrion, turtle eggs and almost anything that moves!
The female Perentie will lay around six to twelve eggs in termite mounds where the activity of the insects provides constant warmth. The brightly coloured young will hatch around nine to three months later.
Esperence is one of our male sub-adult Perenties and was born here at the Zoo. He has been raised around plenty of people, making him a very friendly lizard. Esperence used to be a part of our Wandering Wildlife program but is too big now so he shares an enclosure with two younger Perenties. Perenties are carnivorous and Esperence's favourite time is feed time.