2 scaly creatures captured; one hitched a ride to Hilo on a Christmas tree
HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) -Two rather intimidating creatures were captured on Hawaii Island and Oahu in the last week.
In Hilo, the Department of Agriculture says an alligator lizard hitched a ride on a family’s Christmas tree.
A man reported bringing home the tree on the rack of his truck. When he got home, officials said the large spotted lizard was on top of the tree.
He called agriculture officials who responded and captured the animal. It was positively identified as a southern alligator lizard by reptile experts at the Honolulu Zoo and the Pana`ewa Rainforest Zoo.
After the discovery, the tree was tracked to a shipment from Washington State. Follow-up inspections of the shipment were conducted and there were no other signs of other alligator lizards.
The reptiles are native to the U.S. and Mexico. They can grow up to two feet in length and feed on insects, spiders, snails and other lizards, officials said.
Arrangements are being made for the Pana`ewa Rainforest Zoo to temporarily house the lizard under quarantine conditions for education.
Then on Monday, plant quarantine officials headed out to Waimanalo where a green iguana was spotted in a tree at a home.
It measured around 4 to 5 feet long. Officials say green iguanas can fully grow up to 6 feet from head to tail tip.
They are native to Central Mexico and found throughout South America. They are typically vegetarians but have been known to disturb bird nestlings and feed on eggs.
The iguana was captured and although the Dept. of Ag says they can be found on Oahu, it’s illegal to import, possess or transport iguanas in the islands.
Those caught with illegal animals can face fines of up to $200,000, and three years in prison.
If you come across an invasive species, you’re urged to call the hotline 643-PEST (7378).
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