News Release – NR08-01 – January 15, 2008

Posted on Jan 15, 2008 in 2008 News Releases, News-Releases

HONOLULU – An iguana measuring about three-feet long was captured in Waimanalo and turned in to the Kailua Police Station yesterday afternoon by an unidentified person who saw it on the side of the road.  A police dispatcher notified Plant Quarantine inspectors from the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), who picked up the animal.  No further information was provided to inspectors.


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 prison.


Anyone with information on illegal animals should call the state’s toll-free PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378). Individuals who have illegal animals are encouraged to turn them in under the state’s amnesty program, which provides immunity from prosecution. Illegal animals may be turned in to any HDOA Office, municipal zoo or Humane Society – no questions asked and no fines assessed.

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