CAPE CORAL, Fla. — The iguana population is exploding all across Florida, threatening native species and wildlife. Many locals in Southwest Florida see how the problem can only get worse.
“If we don’t do something about it, it’s going to become a very serious problem here in a few years,” Gary Peppers, said.
In recent updates to its website, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission advises people to kill iguanas on their property whenever possible. The update also includes that people do not need a permit to kill iguanas on their own property.
Unofficial licenses can get out of control, though. A person in Palm Beach County accidentally shot a pool worker with a pellet gun while attempting to kill an iguana. Some experts I talked to said it’s safer to leave it to the professionals.
“Wildlife specialists, veterinarians that are familiar with the species. Work with people that know how to treat them humanely, and to go ahead and I hate to say kill them, but humanely euthanize them,” Bonnie Tucker said, a veterinarian at Kindness Animal Hospital in Cape Coral.
Another iguana expert adds it’s safer for everyone to call a professional trapper because iguanas aren’t afraid to fight back.
“If it’s able to turn around real quick and bite a finger, it will rip a finger,” Iggy Armendariz said, whose son, Daniel Armendariz, catches iguanas for a living.
To read more about the updates to green iguanas visit FWC’s website here: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/nonnatives/reptiles/iguanas-and-relatives/green-iguana/