Iguana drops in on frightened gardener

2012-09-20 09:43
The iguana that "fell from the sky". (Craig Nieuwenhuizen, Beeld)

The iguana that "fell from the sky". (Craig Nieuwenhuizen, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - A Pretoria gardener got the fright of his life when a 1.2m long iguana appeared to fall out of the sky and land next to him, according to a report on Thursday.

January Mgidi, 44, works in Wonderboom, in Pretoria north, not far from the Magaliesburg.

He told Beeld that when the iguana dropped out of nowhere on Monday, he ran to the neighbours.

The large lizard was thought to have fallen from a perch high up on a lamp.

The neighbours called the Pretoria zoo, which referred them to reptile expert Arno Naudé.

"When I picked him up, he played dead initially. When he realised I wasn't going to let go, he started fighting," Naudé said.

Veld iguanas are a protected species all over the world, but they are frequently killed for their skins, which are used to manufacture belts, handbags and watch bands.

"If you're holding [an iguana] and you're not bleeding, you're doing it wrong," Naudé said.

The animal was in a weakened state, and would have to be fattened up and nursed back to health before being released into the bush, he said.

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