HONOLULU – A three-foot long iguana was captured today in Makaha. The iguana was first spotted adjacent to Mahaka Elementary School at about 10:00 a.m. and subsequently moved onto the school property. Police officers, assisted by school personnel and neighbors were able to capture the iguana using a fishing net at about 10:30 a.m. The school was under lockdown for a short period during the capture to keep students in the classrooms during a recess period. Police transported the iguana to the Waianae Substation where Plant Quarantine inspectors took custody of the animal.
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 iguanas are known to be established in some areas on Oahu, it is illegal to possess or transport iguanas in Hawai`i. Persons possessing illegal animals may be charged with a class C felony and may be fined up to $200,000 and three years in prison. Individuals with illegal pets are encouraged to turn them in under the department’s Amnesty Program, which offers immunity from prosecution. Anyone with information or knowledge of illegal animals in Hawai`i is asked to call the state’s PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST (7378).
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