News Release: March 6, 2002

Posted on Mar 6, 2002 in 2002 News Releases, News-Releases

NR02-03 March 6, 2002

Waianae Resident Captures Iguana

Honolulu – A resident who lives on Farrington Highway, across from Waianae High School, captured an iguana in his backyard using a fishing net yesterday.  The iguana was kept in a kennel until it was picked up by an inspector from the state Department of Agriculture.  The lizard measures four-and-a-half-feet long from nose to tail and is currently being held at the Plant Quarantine Branch.

A photo opportunity of the lizard is scheduled this afternoon between 3:30 to 4:00 p.m. at the Plant Quarantine Branch, 701 llalo Street.  Cooke Street is now accessible and media may enter through the Cooke Street entrance after crossing Ilalo Street.

This is the fourth iguana captured on Oahu in recent months.  One was captured on December 31, 2001 at the Turtle Bay Golf Club in Kahuku.  A family captured one in their backyard in Palisades on January 3, 2002.  Another iguana was captured on the H-3 freeway on January 28, 2002 after a motorist reported it to authorities.

When fully grown, iguanas may reach up to six feet in length from head to tip of tail.  Its tail can be 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 Oahu, it is illegal to possess or transport iguanas in Hawaii.  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 turn them in under the department’s Amnesty Program.  Anyone with information or knowledge of illegal animals in Hawaii is asked to call the department’s PEST HOTLINE at 586-PEST(7378).