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6-Foot-Long Iguana Found on O‘ahu

February 13, 2017, 4:46 PM HST
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Iguana found on O‘ahu, Feb. 12, 2017. Hawaii Department of Agriculture.

A six-foot-long iguana was turned in yesterday by a resident of Waimanalo who found the lizard while doing yardwork. The resident contained the animal and called the state’s toll-free Pest Hotline at about noon yesterday and inspectors from the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture picked up the lizard later that afternoon.

When fully grown, iguanas may reach up to six feet in length from head to tip of tail. Its tail is quite powerful, acting as a dangerous weapon in fending off enemies. Iguanas are native to central Mexico through South America and are typically vegetarians, but are known to disturb bird nestlings and feed on eggs.

Although they are believed to be established in some areas on O‘ahu, it is illegal to import, possess or transport iguanas in Hawai‘i. Persons possessing illegal animals are subject to stiff penalties, including fines of up to $200,000 and up to three years in prison.

Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the state’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378). Individuals who have illegal animals are encouraged to turn them in under the state’s amnesty program, which provides immunity from prosecution. Illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA Office, municipal zoo or Humane Society—no questions asked and no fines assessed.

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