Five-foot iguana on the loose

September 28, 2011 • Local News

One Roswell family is desperately seeking the newest addition to the family, a 5-foot iguana named Izzy. “We just bought him,” said Melissa Atkinson.

Izzy made his escape around 1:30 p.m. Monday as Atkinson was getting wood to build a new and more commodious enclosure for him.

“I fed him and then went outside. I left the back door open, and I didn’t even see him go.”

The Atkinson family lives in the 100 block [auth] of South Pennsylania Avenue and is asking people to be on the look out for him, the 5-foot lizard.

“They tend to go up in trees and we have several large trees in the neighborhood,” she said.

Besides the immediately noticible, a full-grown iguana cruising the streets of Roswell, Izzy has another distinguishing characteristic which separates him from the rest. “They have spines on their back. He’s missing about 3 inches of his,” said Atkinson. She does not know how the spine became broken.

Iguana possess a dewlap, a row of spines running down their back to their tail, and a third “eye” on their head. They grow up to 5 feet long, from head to tail, although some have measured over 6 feet, with body weights of up to 20 pounds.

Atkinson is concerned about his welfare as the nights are starting to cool. “They are warm-weather creatures.”

Atkinson warns people to be careful if they run into Izzy. She asks anyone who recognizes their pet to call Animal Services, 624-6722, rather than effect a rescue.

She also admits that Izzy is not only a trifle testy, but he is strong. “He has moved twice in the last week and that’s not easy on him…. He uses everything to defend himself, his tail, teeth and his claws.”

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