Invader

Wild Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) in the Botan...

Image via Wikipedia

Feral iguana
lives down south
likes it there
in hospitable Boca;
the subtropical
greenery like
a welcome mat.
Taking over native
flora and fauna,
their numbers
swelling, they’ve
settled in.
Digging burrows,
decimating plants,
climbing trees
to lay in wait.
Enjoying your
yard and even
your pool, they’re
smelly invaders
uninvited to stay.
And come the
brisk cold in winter’s
wake, they freeze
in their tracks and
fall from the trees!
We must make
peace, they’re
here to stay,
but I’m glad they’ve
not made it to my
hometown yet.

There are many invasive plant and animal species that have made their way into Florida.  The invasion of the Green Iguana, and other iguanas, has been blamed primarily on people who have kept them as pets and then let them loose into the wild (or they escaped) when the owners found them too difficult to manage.  I personally, don’t think that the average person is capable of being responsible for these and other exotic animals and there should be a ban on keeping them.  As it is, we are overrun by cats and dogs that are not cared for properly and are not neutered or spayed and neither are the iguanas.  We are learning the hard way.  I’m not sure why laws aren’t engaged to protect animals from careless human beings who are now creating larger problems for our environment.  I do not blame the animals, of course…it’s unconscious humans.

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28 Comments

  1. There’s always trouble when people take animals out of their natural homes and take them elsewhere as pets or other.

    Good write. The bit about it freezing and falling out of a tree in winter is kinda funny. I guess they just wouldn’t know they were freezing being cold blooded.

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    • You are so right.

      Thank you, Ravenblack. It’s true…if they are up in the trees during an overnight freeze they go into some kind of hibernation…it’s called something else though…and aren’t able to hang onto the branches and actually fall out of the trees…and lay there until they warm up! Yikes! 🙂 Comical, but freaky!

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  2. we won’t see them in Wisconsin… every state has its pests… ours are mosquitoes!

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  3. most of us forget the responsibilities attached to having a pet. some of us are misguided by blind attraction towards a pet we can spoil, some to own a neighbour’s envy type of pet 🙂

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  4. when we lived in florida we had all kinds of lizards on the lanai…my cat loved them…going over to west palm i was surprised at the large lizards…they are all over…and def people need to be careful introducing their ‘pets’ into an ecosystem…

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    • I’ve yet to see an iguana in the wild here…but one of my nephews lives farther down south and they are common where he is…I can handle the common small lizards that I grew up with…but those big things are a whole different deal.

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  5. Look closely at a reptile’s face. You’ll see a smile that suggests it knows something we don’t. I wouldn’t have one for a pet, but I think that feature about them is neat…

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  6. we’ve been seeing on TV recently about the huge spread of dangerous snakes now over-running the Florida everglades. Some of the pythons are huge! People are so irresponsible!
    Nicely said.

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    • Well, we have pythons running (slithering) wild here now…same thing that happened with iguanas have happened with exotic snakes…people can’t handle them, so out they go…or they escape. In my own yard, I have Cuban tree frogs which are another invasive species that eat other native frogs and lizards…they can get huge. Maybe Florida will become so inhospitable by wild animals that the people will start leaving…

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  7. quite a busy day

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  8. Yeah, it was… 🙂

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  9. Some bring exotic animals into the country illegally, and yes, some purchase them locally. They become too much too handle when they are no longer affordable. During the recession, a lot of animals were left abandoned.

    Taking care of pets is like “parenting”; and that comes with responsibilities. But should wild animals be pets?

    Hope all is well. Have been super busy.

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    • I take my pet care very seriously…I couldn’t imagine abandoning my cat. No, I don’t think wild animals should be pets. Why is this being allowed? Animals aren’t here for our amusement and to be manipulated by people….they deserve respect. Another thing that “hits a nerve” with me!

      It’s good to hear from you…I’m doing well. Hope you are too.

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      • What about kept in zoos; is it a bad thing? Or those being experimented on? Just read about a lioness giving birth to a tiger/lion hybrid.

        The in thing are designer dogs. Where do we draw the line?

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  10. I am 100% with you. It is cruel, stupid and selfish to attempt to keep a wild animal.

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  11. I totally agree with you, Gale. People need to think twice about adopting these exotic animals. It’s probably miserable for the animals and it’s inconsiderate of human neighbors. Bravo for posting this. Thank you.

    Since I’ve been doing “The Cat’s Meow,” I’ve read a lot of material about the harm we cause when we adopt as pets animals that are not domesticated. Chimps, big cats, wolves, and bears are – amazingly – some of the poor creates that end up confined in small spaces as part of a human environment. There was one story of someone who had three cats in her studio apartment, include a wild servil cat from Africa. Sad thing.

    Love you new theme. Seems to suit you. Nice!

    Thanks for you visits and comments and not giving up on me over the past few months. 😉 Hope all is well by you, Gale.

    Warmest regards,
    Jamie

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    • I guess we have to pass laws about everything…the average person doesn’t have the common sense to know that this is not healthy for either the animal or the human. Makes me so sad…and mad.

      I like the lighter theme over here too…thanks, Jamie. I hope you are doing well. I’m always happy when I see you’ve been able to visit. Things are going well here. Thanks for coming by… 🙂

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  12. Iguana’s are a major problem here where I am, Gayle. They are starting to appear in my neghborhood. One day there was a huge one on my front screen. If it wasn’t for my being able to enter through the garage I would not have been able to get in the house. He had a menacing look on his face. I called animald control but it was gone by the time they arrived.
    My friend has an invasion on the beach she said they are coming over from Boca Grande. On the lil island of Boca Grande, they have pet catchers that are paid per catch. People cannot walk on main street without seeing them on everywhere. It is getting scary. ~~~~ : – (
    I like you line about – Maybe Florida will become so inhospitable by wild animals that the people will start leaving… – I feel the same way. ~~~~ : – )
    Toodles,
    Izzy

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    • I knew they were showing up down there in your area, Izzy…hopefully our winters will stay just a little bit too cool for them to be able to survive this far north. I couldn’t stand it. No, they do not have cute expressions on their faces… Now, I’m feeling nervous for you but you don’t hear of them attacking people…or do you? And pythons…what will we do if pythons start slithering around our yards????

      Yeah, Florida has become too crowded… 😉 xoxo

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  13. Well said, Gayle. It’s thoughtlessness, ignorance and selfishness on the part if humans who cause so much trouble with native environments and invasive species. Not just with the animals but with plants, too (Kudzu is just one example). People sure don’t “get it”, do they? I don’t know why there aren’t laws against it…there are some laws against owning exotic animals or endangered species, of course, but maybe not enough people know about the damage done by “pets” like iguanas and pythons. I find it strange that more aren’t aware of it, considering that movie “Alligator” was made back in the 70’s and the plot was about exactly what you’re talking about – i.e. a ‘pet’ getting loose and causing destruction. Or maybe this kind of thing is yet another inconvenient truth. Again, I say people are selfish. :-/

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  14. gah…*of humans. Sorry for the typos, am tired tonight.

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    • Oh, you don’t have to worry about typos when you’re so tired…but if you’re like me, those typos grate on my nerves when I catch them. 🙂

      I would agree, Corina, I think it’s another inconvenient truth. People want what they want and don’t think of the repercussions of what may happen to the environment if their “pet” gets loose…or worse. There was a tragic story of a man who owned a python and the thing got out of its cage in the night (it had escaped once before that same night and the owner returned it to its cage) and found its way to the crib where the couple had their sleeping baby and killed it. When the authorities went to investigate, they found that the snake was very malnourished for its size. There you have an extreme tragedy…the snake was looking for a food source because it was literally starving. Uneducated people trying to care for an animal that they have no business having. It’s totally ridiculous.

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