Melissa Kaplan's
Herp Care Collection
Last updated January 1, 2014

Iguana owners bite off more than they can chew

Diane Simon, Jersey Evening Post, 22 May 2001


An iguana 4ft 6in long was given to the Animals Shelter by its owners this week after it attacked their dog while the reptile wandered freely around the home.

The female animal was one of three green iguanas brought to the shelter in the last week by different owners, who said that they could no longer cope with them.

Shelter education and events officer Julie Settle said that six iguanas had been taken to the shelter for rehoming during the past 12 months, which she said was a cause for concern.

She said that people should realise that keeping exotic pets could be a very long-term commitment, as iguanas could live for many years and grow to over six feet long.

One of the main dangers that mature iguanas can present is a lash from their extremely long and solid tail. They may also bite, with the risk of the bacteria in their mouth causing infection.

The shelter are hoping to rehome all three iguanas and will consider looking for owners in the UK if they cannot be found in Jersey.

Veterinary surgeon Hugh Forshaw said that the couple who owned the iguana which bit the dog had looked after it well for a number of years. They had reluctantly given it up after it attacked the dog – with whom it had shared a home without problems – out of the blue. The dog needed stitches but had recovered.

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