Samia Lila is terrified of spiders and regularly scans the vineyard at Mimosa Wines Restaurant, where she works as a waitress, to make sure she’s always at a safe distance from them. “She can spot a daddy-long-legs at 40 metres,” her boss Glen Butson said.
That’s why he was impressed — and rather surprised — by the way she man-handled a giant lizard that had clambered its way onto the restaurant’s deck.
Customers started to panic when they saw an inquisitive goanna wandering around between tables on the restaurant’s deck. Lila didn’t notice the unwanted guest at all until a petrified diner grabbed the 25-year-old French waitress’s hand and pointed outside.
At first, Lila– who was on a working holiday from France–thought it was stray dog. She had never seen anything like it.
“I couldn’t believe it was a goanna. I thought it was big dog,” she said.
The quick-thinking waitress pinned the lizard between a table leg and floor-to-ceiling window when it tried run inside the restaurant.
“Just so I have a second to think about what to do, and then I just grabbed him by the tail. The tail was so big, it was easy to grab,” she said.
Then Lila grabbed its tail and dragged it between tables and chairs and out of the popular restaurant as frightened customers watched and cheered in bemusement.
The restaurant is surrounded by a forest in South Wales, Australia.
“It was interesting for me. I would never see something like this in France.”
She has since been dubbed ‘the goanna girl’ – and people from all walks of life have applauded her astounding bravery. Lila said that she has an unwavering love for reptiles – and considered it her duty to protect those who feared them.
“I like reptiles, I think he is a really beautiful creature [and] I didn’t want to hurt him.”