American Green Iguana’s surprising appearance in Goa’s Chapora

30th January 2023

American Green Iguana has been seen around Chapora area. A infantile green Iguana, considered a herbivorous lizard, was recently rescued at Chapora. The sudden appearance of, (barely one-foot lizard) also called American Iguana, at the doorstep of a Chapora resident – Nilesh V Gaonkar – came as big surprise. It is being tended to at a rescue centre at Bicholim. “We were puzzled by its sight and didn’t know what to do with it. We immediately called a snake rescuer (of animal rescue squad (ARS) Bicholim),” said Gaonkar.

Gautam Kamble, a volunteer with the voluntary organisation, reached the spot and rescued the reptile. It was taken to the ARS centre at Bicholim. “We have kept the lizard in a cage and it is being looked after with due care,” said Amrut Singh of ARS.

Still a young reptile, the lizard weighs more than 9 kgs. It can grow up to 5 feet to above 6 feet in some cases. “It is cold blooded and needs to be put out in the sunshine for basking and, if it is cold, an ultraviolet B light,” said Singh. In America, it is kept as a pet by many, which is quite difficult as it needs space and enough heat to keep it warm.

Being an exotic species, its native range is from southern Paraguay to Mexico. It is assumed that it was probably brought in by some foreign tourist, said ARS. They are considering relocating the reptile to the Rajiv Gandhi zoological park, a wild animals rescue and rehabilitation centre in Pune. “We have contacted the Pune animal park, which we have learnt has some iguanas,” said Singh.

The rescuers ensure that such exotic species are protected and not to get in the hands of volatile and unaware people.

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Author: Planet Goa Team
For us at Planet-Goa, our team is driven by that feeling of exhilaration that one gets when discovering that something ‘unique’ and ‘new’ about Goa for our ever-so-discerning readers.

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