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Wildlife Officials Declare Open Season On Iguanas

Cold blooded green iguana clings to a palm tree as he warms himself in the sunshine.
Adobe Stock

Next time you’re in South Florida beware of Iguanas. The states animal protection agency has now given its approval to kill the  lizards without permits. 

Iguana's aren't harmful to humans, but they're invading South Florida. The problem has become so bad the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is encouraging people to kill the reptiles if they spot them on their property, as well as in 22 public land areas in the region. 

Iguanas can grow to at least five feet long and weigh nearly 20 pounds. They cause damage to seawalls, sidewalks and can dig lengthy tunnels. The commission says females can lay nearly 80 eggs a year, and South Florida's warm climate is similar to the reptile's native homes Central America, tropical parts of South America and some Caribbean islands.

The long green creatures are allowed to be kept as pets in Florida but are not protected by any law except anti-cruelty to animals. They've been in South Florida since the 1960s, but their numbers have increased dramatically in recent years.