BOCA RATON, Fla. (WFLA) — Animal control officials in Florida are investigating after residents raised concerns about an incident where an iguana was shot repeatedly.
According to a WPTV report, the complaint came from the Logger’s Run neighborhood in Boca Raton.
Palm Beach County Animal Control said they are looking into the incident to determine if the euthanization was done humanely. Witness Therese Serignese told WPTV that she thought it was anything but humane.
“I heard children screaming, yelling, ‘Gun, gun there’s a man with a gun,’” Serignese said. “There was blood. [The iguana] was shot. I couldn’t tell how many times on the side of his head, his face.”
Video from after the shooting reportedly shows a man carrying a bloodied iguana by the tail and tossing it into a garbage bag. Serignese said that she heard the man may have been hired to remove the large lizards at the direction of the property manager.
Palm Beach County animal officials said euthanizing iguanas is legal because they are not native to the area.
“Iguanas are an invasive species, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife,” Animal Control and Care Assistant Director David Walesky told WPTV. “In general, residents, neighborhoods, HOAs are encouraged to remove invasive species because of the impact they have on the environment and native wildlife.”
Serignese claimed the euthanization should have been conducted in a way that did not cause distress to neighbors.
“This was a living being, this was a suffering animal, and this in my opinion was inappropriate,” Serignese said.
WPTV said they tried to get in touch with the property manager at Logger’s Run, but he declined to comment.