Hereıs the sad fact ... more than 15,000 iguanas are given away or disposed of every year. That adorable yet mysterious face has lots of appeal at first, but soon turns into disinterest in many homes. Iguanas are turned into shelters who cannot care for the volume turned in, or worse, theyıre released into the wild where they cannot possibly survive. In fact, the iguana is the most commonly imported reptile and the most commonly dumped and improperly cared for.
The Society is home to over 30 iguanas between our Newark shelter and Popcorn Park Zoo, each and every one deserving of a home. We have two babies, and a few older guys and gals. Most are rather young and generally fairly very easy to handle. Our most famous iguana, of course, is Tamone - pictured at top -and featured on the Wildlife Club and available for sponsorship. He sits in for ALL the iguanas, and while you may support them, we are also searching for reliable homes.
Here are some of the basic facts you should know about iguanas before you consider owning one. An iguana baby will grow over 12 inches per year for the first several years. If given truly adequate housing, it will attain a length of 5 to 6 feet and weigh 12 to 18 pounds.
- Iguanas have 116 to 120 teeth that are replaced throughout their lives, much like sharks. Without knowledge of proper handling, many iguana owners meet these teeth and a plastic surgeon!
- Iguanas, as with any reptile, can carry salmonella. Cleanliness is important in owning any reptile.
- A healthy adult iguana needs its own space, not just a tank. It requires a bathing pool or tub, and prefers to be kept at tropical temperatures and humidity year round. These are not pets that should be tucked away in a tank in the corner of a childıs room.
- Iguanas are strict vegans
- they should not eat any meat or anything made with meat. Improper diet causes metabolic bone disease and other nutritional disorders.
- The leading cause of death of iguanas is kidney failure from being fed animal protein or being kept in too dry an environment.
- Cost is not the deceptive $10 - $25 you may pay for the youngster. A properly set-up enclosure may cost $250 - $300. This does not include the ongoing diet expenses and health care that go along with keeping any pet.
Can iguanas be good pets? Absolutely!! if you are truly dedicated to taking good care of them and giving them time and handling. That means really learning about their specific dietary and environmental needs.
That's the lowdown on iguanas - they need proper care AND lots of love. A pet iguana can be a very affectionate animal ... if you just take the time. If you are interested in adopting one of our iguanas, please contact us for an application.