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Iguanas spotted in Sarasota and Manatee Counties

Iguanas are nonnative invasive species
Posted at 10:14 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-08 23:17:46-05

A wildlife trapper caught a green iguana at a senior living community in Bradenton.

Neighbors spotted the iguana dodging traffic and then it climbed up a tree inside the Presbyterian Villas, a senior living community in Manatee County.

Beverley Stone did a double take.

"Oh God, yes, nothing ever happens like that around here," said Stone.

Stone called a wildlife expert with Wildlife, Inc. to trap the iguana.

"They originated mostly in Broward, Charlotte County, Miami-Dade County. The more and more they breed the more and more food sources they need to find so they start branching out coming up more north in the state," said Devon Straight, Wildlife Inc. Education and Rehabilitation Center.

Wildlife officers say green iguanas are one of Florida's most destructive invasive species destroying shrubs, trees, fruit and landscape plants. Generally, they are not a threat to people or pets.

The reptiles are expanding north into Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

"They look scary and people don't know how to handle them. They can do some damage if you get them cornered," said Straight.

Trappers took the iguana to a shelter in Manatee County. It has already found a new home.

"He's fine now and he got adopted. That's just fantastic, you know," said Stone.