A unique visitor turned up at the doorstep of a boutique at Surabhi Nagar near civil station at Kakkanad on Friday morning. Though the boutique operators chose to shut out the fairly big monitor lizard, as it turned out, the “customer” proved quite popular, bringing in its wake a bunch of curious onlookers. Within hours, it had gone viral on social media as well after an enterprising onlooker posted a video of the whole episode. It showed the lizard crawling its way up the steps slowly, owing to its bulky size, to reach the glass door of the boutique. It could be seen feeling around the glass with its limbs for a while in an obvious attempt to gain entry. “There was talk about a big lizard being spotted quite a few times in the area, and one of my friends had spotted it when it crossed in front of his car. It was probably stripped of a hiding place after a few shrubs and bushes in the area were cleared recently. When it became clear that it won’t be able to go beyond the glass door, it crawled away, probably into a nearby drain,” said N.S. Akash, the owner of the boutique. Forest officials said monitor lizards had proliferated of late, and fairly big ones could be seen even in busy areas like Edappally. “Previously, they were widely hunted for meat. But ever since it was declared a protected species, entailing stiff punishments for its catching or killing, people have spared it, leading to its plentiful breeding,” said M.K. Ranjith, Range Forest Officer, Ernakulam. He added that there was no need for concern since monitor lizards were harmless creatures that survived pretty much in all normal terrains.