The RSPCA is appealing for information after an iguana was abandoned in a box in a Coventry park.
The reptile was collapsed in the box when he was found by a member of the public in Edgwick Park, in Cross Road, on Wednesday (22 February). Due to his collapsed state, it was initially thought that the iguana was dead.
He was collected by RSPCA inspector Georgia McCormick, and is now being cared for at private boarding which specialises in exotic pets.
Inspector McCormick said: “He looks to have an old burn injury on his back left leg and we believe he has had a tail injury or he has dropped a section of his tail in the past as a defense mechanism, as the end of his tail has regrown.
“Very sadly, many people buy exotic pets without thinking it through the responsibility first and with little or no idea of how difficult they are to care for, which as a result can lead to them being abandoned in a callous way like this. Ultimately it is the animal that suffers after the novelty wears off.
“Sadly, the RSPCA sees many exotic pets just being dumped and left for dead, or given up, because their owners have got bored of them or don’t know how to care for them properly.
“We do find that people take on exotic animals like reptiles without researching their needs or having any idea of how to care for them properly. They then end up suffering; becoming injured, sick or even dead just because their owners either didn’t have the knowledge about how to care for them.”
In 2016, the RSPCA received 6,888 calls to its cruelty line about reptiles and 1,689 reptiles were collected by the Society’s officers – which is a 23% increase over five years (2011-2016).
Anyone who has any information about the iguana should contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018, leaving a message for Inspector McCormick.
The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)