A waitress in Australia has attracted worldwide attention after she was filmed dragging a huge lizard out of the restaurant where she worked in front of astounded customers.

Samia Lila was working at the Mimosa Winery's restaurant in New South Wales when service was interrupted by a huge goanna crawling across the floor.

Quick thinking Lila, a French national who only been working in Australia since November, took the initiative by grabbing the lizard – which can grow up to 2.5m long – by its tail and removing it from the restaurant.

"I looked at it and thought it was a dog at first," she told the Bega District News. "Everyone was screaming, so I started screaming too.

"I was just like a kid; I thought 'I want to do it, I want to do it, I know it's bad, but it was getting close to customers'." The 25-year-old added: "I wasn't scared, I like reptiles so was a bit excited."

Footage of the incident was uploaded onto the Mimosa Winery's Facebook page and has since been viewed nearly 400,000 times on their page alone.

Lila said that the incident in the restaurant was only the second time she had ever seen a goanna since arriving in Australia.