It was a sight that scared the life out of a housewife in Rompin, Pahang.
Madam Nor Raudhah Maisarah Abdullah left her eight-month-old daughter in a crib in the living room and went to the kitchen to prepare porridge.
Soon, she heard her baby, Nurhidayah Abdul Rahman, crying, the New Straits Times reported.
When the mother went to the living room, she was horrified by what she saw.
A monitor lizard was mauling her daughter's face and trying to drag the baby away to the nearby bushes.
The incident happened at 10am on Monday at their quarters at a resort in Pulau Tioman.
Madam Raudhah grabbed a stick and repeatedly hit the monitor lizard with it before using her bare hands to push the reptile away. It then let go of the child and escaped to the bushes.
Madam Raudhah said at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru on Tuesday: "I rushed to the living room and was shocked to see the huge reptile mauling my daughter's face.
"Blood was trickling down her face and I screamed for help."
She said she is still traumatised by the incident.
She added that the neighbours took the baby to a nearby clinic before taking her to Johor Baru for further treatment.
Said Madam Raudhah: "I don't know how the reptile ended up in the living room as all the doors were closed except for the one in the kitchen (where I was)... so I would have noticed if it had come in through that door."
Johor State Health and Environment Committee chairman Ayub Rahmat said doctors and nurses were closely monitoring Nurhidayah, and her condition was reported to be stable.
Mr Ayub added that Nurhidayah suffered injuries on the face and that she required 50 stitches.
Pahang Wildlife and National Parks Department director Khairiah Mohd Shariff told the New Straits Times that the attack was the first involving a monitor lizard on Pulau Tioman.
Describing the reptile as non-aggressive, she said the river near the workers' quarters could be its habitat.
She said: "The island is known for its population of monitor lizards. We can only put up signboards to remind people about the reptiles."
This article was first published on Sep 25, 2014.
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