CAPE CORAL, Fla. (WBBH) — A Cape Coral woman finds out the hard way that taking in wild animals is not always a great idea.
Her pet iguana attacked her not once, but twice.
“She’s like my baby. You know, she used to sleep in my bra when she was little,” explains Amanda Gray who was attacked by her pet iguana.
“Igmo” the iguana isn’t a baby anymore, but rather a four-foot-long adult reptile with some attitude problems.
The iguana’s owner says the aggressive behavior has gotten out of control.
“She definitely used to love me, but I feel like right now I’m going through some things and she can sense my weakness and instability so she’s challenging me for alpha,” Gray says.
Scars from Igmo’s sharp nails cover her arms, and now her face. The most recent attack sent her to the hospital.
“It was a serious facial injury,” Gray says. “Like, I started pouring blood all over the place and screaming for help.”
Dr. Gary Nelson with Viscaya-Prado Veterinary Hospital says a wild animal’s behavior can change over time.
“When they’re young they’re easier to manage, easier to handle. As they mature as they get older they take on more of the characteristics of a wild animal,” Dr. Nelson explains.
He says hormones could’ve caused the aggression and warns these kinds of pets aren’t for everyone.
“Before you get any exotic animal, it’s very helpful to learn as much as you can about it,” says Dr. Nelson. “Not learn having the animal, but learn in advance of getting the animal.”
Amanda has since found a new owner for “Igmo”. This owner has plenty of experience with reptiles — including iguanas.
She’s sad to part ways but knows it’s time.