In June 1999, a species of lizard previously considered extinct was rediscovered on the island of La Gomera, Spain. The giant gomeran lizard, Galotia bravoana, is highly endangered and at risk of extinction by the feral cat population. A conservation effort to save the species was initiatived by the regional and central Spanish government and six lizards were captured and brought into captivity. This paper describes the results of the initial assessment of the health of the animals, by a physical examination and by haematological, biochemical, radiographical and coprological investigations. The methods used to maintain the animals in captivity are described and the first captive breeding success is reported.