E. Lizard Beth! Otherwise known as "Lizzie"
"So, would you guys like to adopt/rescue an iguana?" she asked.
The poor thing had been found by the zookeeper's mom, running around a parking lot. Now, if you know anything about iguanas and southern Idaho, you can guess that this falls squarely under the category of Not. Good. (Tropical lizard running around in our arid climate? Poor thing!)
Several text messages were exchanged with other family members to confirm that we were up to take care of another animal. ("Why isn't it already at our house?" my husband asked. He had taken a liking to our friend's pet iguana many years ago, and had wanted one ever since.)
After the three day waiting period (giving a previous owner time to call looking for a lost iguana,) in which much research on the habits and needs of iguanas was done. (Thank goodness for the internet!) We went to the animal shelter to pick her up. SInce that time, her skin has gotten healthier - she has gone through numerous sheds, and she has had a great time crawling around on the grass, as well as riding on our shoulders and heads.
Iguanas take a lot more care than many people expect, I suspect. They require lots of room, lots of exercise, lots of warmth and light (either in the form of going out in the sun, or special (expensive!) UV lamps. And iguanas are tropical, so you need to make sure their environment has enough humidity. Oh, and they are herbivores which means you get to make a big salad for them to eat every day! (There is some commercially available iguana food, but the consensus from our online research was that it was much, much better to feed them directly from the produce aisle.) Luckily, the oldest kid is happiest taking care of animals, and does it without complaint! (Although I have been informed that cactus slime is supremely disgusting. This from a child who happily feeds mice to snakes.) The volunteer hours at the zoo also mean our whole family has been well educated on the importance of proper reptile handling. (i.e. WASH YOUR HANDS!) The moral of this story is, of course, do your research before bringing an animal into your family! :)