When you think of having a pet, an iguana probably isn’t the first species that comes to mind, even though South Florida has a ton of them all over the place.
A Cape Coral woman thought differently — and paid the price.
Pain: It’s the ultimate lesson. So is bleeding.
Never miss a local story.
Amanda Gray has had Igmo since she hatched two years ago near her home. The iguana used to be a nice little creature until she wasn’t.
Seriously, though. Igmo recently attacked Gray to such a degree, the owner had to be treated at a hospital for serious facial injuries that required stitches, as seen in footage that aired on local NBC station WBBH-TV.
“She definitely used to love me,” Gray told the TV station. “But I feel like right now I'm going through some things and she can sense my weakness and instability, so she's challenging me for alpha.”
Gray has since found a new home for Igmo (Internet speak for “Ignorant Moron”). The current owner is apparently more able to deal with the vicious reptile situation.
Dr. Gary Nelson with Prado Viscaya Veterinary Hospital explained a possible reason for the aggression.
“When they’re young they’re easier to manage, easier to handle. As they mature as they get older, they take on more of the characteristics of a wild animal," Nelson said in the interview, adding hormones could also be to blame.
If you do decide to take in an iguana, at least clip its nails, reports iguana-care website Green Iguana Society (yes, this exists). Also invest in a pair of falconry gloves.
“Aggressive iguanas, especially older males, can be one of the most dangerous threats to your safety,” reads the site. “All iguanas are capable of being a threat to your safety, but a large aggressive one can do very serious damage.”