April 12, 2016
HONOLULU – A woman thought she had captured an iguana outside her Waianae home last Friday and her son called the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA). But when quarantine inspectors arrived at the home on Puuhulu Road, they discovered that it was a bearded dragon – an illegal lizard in Hawaii.
The lizard measured about 12 inches from snout to vent. Inspectors did a short search of the area but could not determine where the lizard came from.
In 2014, a Kailua resident found a bearded dragon under his home and also had mistaken it for an iguana. Iguanas are established in some areas on Oahu, but illegal to possess and transport.
Bearded dragons are native to central Australia and are common in the pet trade on the Mainland. They may grow up to two feet in length and their diet consists of insects, flowers, fruit and vegetable matter. Larger adults may also consume small rodents and invertebrates.
Persons possessing illegal animals are subject to stiff penalties, including fines of up to $200,000 and up to three years in jail. Individuals with illegal pets are encouraged to voluntarily turn them in under the department’s Amnesty Program, which offers immunity from prosecution. Anyone with information or knowledge of illegal animals in Hawaii is asked to call the department’s PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST(7378).
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