Florida clarifies iguana removal advice after accidental shooting

Florida’s conservation agency has clarified a recent statement it made on removing iguanas. ©Grace Courbis

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has dialed down its advice for exterminating invasive iguanas with a new statement intended to clear up uncertainty from a previous memo. Earlier in July, the agency instructed homeowners to remove invasive green iguanas (Iguana iguana) “whenever possible.” But after a recent incident where an iguana hunter accidentally shot a pool worker in the leg with a pellet gun, FWC Commissioner Rodney Barreto clarified the agency’s position without explicitly mentioning the incident. “Unfortunately, the message has been conveyed that we are asking the public to just go out there and shoot them up. This is not what we are about; this is not the ‘wild west.’ If you are not capable of safely removing iguanas from your property, please seek assistance from professionals who do this for a living,” he said in the statement. The memo also mentions that green iguanas can damage seawalls, sidewalks and other infrastructure.

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