Iguana go home! The 5ft tropical lizard found in a Borders lay-by
WHEN workman Steve O’Hara stopped for his lunch in a Borders lay-by, it was perhaps the last thing he expected to see.
As he gazed out a the countryside something caught his eye – a 5ft lizard only yards away.
The enormous reptile was a fully-grown green iguana normally found in the tropics of South America – resting on a wall.
Council worker Mr O’Hara said: ‘I was driving on the A702 between Romanno Bridge and Blyth Bridge when I pulled in to have my lunch. As I sat in my van eating my sandwiches I happened to focus on an object on top of the dry stane dyke, some six to eight feet from me, and I could see it was a very large lizard. I approached it, gave it a gentle prod and found it was still alive, so I quickly emptied a large box from my van and put the iguana into it [then] onto the front seat of the van with the heating on full blast.’
His quick-thinking probably saved the creature, dubbed Iggy, from perishing after he spotted it in Peeblesshire on Tuesday.
As it warmed up, he called the Scottish SPCA and agreed to drive Iggy to nearby Broughton Primary School to be picked up. Mr O’Hara added: ‘By the time the Scottish SPCA arrived the lizard certainly had its strength back. It was a struggle to hold it. When I first picked it up it was cold to the touch and quite rigid.
‘I don’t think it would have survived much longer in the winds and storms we had this week.’
Animal rescue officer Dawn-Vale Lowdon, who collected Iggy, said: ‘Despite a few bumps, he was all right once he had been warmed up. He’s now being cared for at our centre in Lanarkshire. If no one comes forward we’ll keep him until we can find him a suitable home.’
Iggy is thought to be an abandoned or missing pet. SSPCA chief inspector Fiona Henderson said the herbivores need special care, including UV lights and heating for a vivarium.
What a tail: Iggy the 5ft iguana