What is a Gila Monster?
The Gila Monster is a venomous lizard found in the Southwestern US and Northwestern Mexico. The Gila monster's scientific name is Heloderma Suspectum. The Gila Monster was initially discovered in Arizona’s Gila River basin, which is where the Gila lizard gets its name from. The Gila monster habitat is in the desert, typically in rocky foothills. Our brand Monsturo-de-Gila gets key ingredients for our BBQ salsa and BBQ sauce from the regions which the Gila monster inhabits. Unfortunately, the Gila monster’s conservation status is near threatened; they are experiencing a decreasing population trend due to human encroachment on their territory.
Why Gila Monsters?
We just think they're neat
Have you seen a Gila Monster? With beaded scales, and a pink and black (with a blue tongue!) color scheme, they're easily some of the neatest looking reptiles out there. Their venom is also as toxic as that of a diamondback rattlesnake, but Gila Monsters aren't likely to hurt humans. They save that venom for prey and otherwise seem pretty happy to chill in a pile of rocks.
As we take the best flavors of the southwest, we want to make sure we give back to the area as well. We like to support our local community–which includes the wonderful and wild creatures who live in the area. Gila Monsters are native to New Mexico, Arizona, California, some of Nevada, and parts of Mexico. We hope to continue to support Gila Monster conservation as we grow!
A common misconception is about the Gila monster's venomous impacts. While the Gila bite is painful, Gila venom has led to no reported human deaths, and is of minimal threat to humans. Exedin-4 is found in their saliva and mimics the human hormone GLP-1 which is lacking in type 2 diabetes patients. The Gila venom can therefore be used to treat diabetes, as Exedin-4 increases insulin production.
What are we doing to help?
We sponsor real Monstruo de Gilas and their habitat through the Friends of Saguaro National Park. Friends of Saguaro National Park was created to help preserve, protect, and enhance the fragile environment and unique cultural heritage of the Sonoran Desert at Saguaro National Park.