Large rhino iguana startles shoppers at Florida Walmart

By Ben Hooper Contact the Author   |   April 7, 2017 at 9:11 AM
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April 7 (UPI) -- Emergency responders were summoned to a Florida Walmart to remove a massive rhinoceros iguana spotted wandering around the store.

Shoppers reported spotting a large lizard in the Miami store Thursday evening and a Walmart employee summoned the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom One Unit to remove the potentially dangerous animal.

"When Venom 1 unit arrived they spotted a spiny lizard standing near some shopping carts," Erika Benitez of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue told Patch. "Several store patrons had spotted the lizard walking around and they became concerned."

The foot-long lizard was captured by Lt. Lisa Wood.

Rescuers theorized the iguana might have been pregnant and looking for a place to nest.

"It might have been a situation where she was looking for a place to lay eggs," Lt. Felipe Lay of Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue said. "It was probably nesting."

The rhino iguana was turned over to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which Lay said would provide medical care to the lizard before it is released into a more suitable environment than Walmart.

Experts said rhino iguanas are popular pets because of their impressive appearance and can be tamed, but some members of the species have been known to act aggressively and bite humans.

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