Science and TechAnimals and Insects


This your reptile? Colorado officials rescue orange iguana at a park

Orange iguanas, which are not native to the U.S., are sometimes kept as pets. Authorities in Colorado said the iguana was docile when rescued.
An orange iguana was rescued in Denver's Cherry Creek state park.
Posted at 10:01 PM, Aug 18, 2023

People in Colorado were asked to check if their pet iguana went missing recently, in a state that is definitely not really known for those types of reptiles. 

Authorities rescued an orange iguana from Cherry Creek State Park in the Denver area. 

Arapahoe County officials on Friday said a 3-year-old orange iguana was in the park, after they got a call to report the reptile hanging out on a fence.

Animal Services Officer Cori Wylde responded to the scene and rescued the animal from a tree.

"Iguanas can be aggressive, but he was super friendly," Wylde said.

The iguana is estimated to be around three feet long, and weighs about 10 pounds.

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"This is the first time I have ever caught one in this job," Wylde said. "It was definitely the highlight of my day."

Officials said in a post to social media the iguana was checked into an animal shelter on a seven-day stray hold. 

If unclaimed, the animal will likely be transferred to a rescue.

If you recognize the orange iguana, you are asked to call Arapahoe County Animal Services at (720) 874-6750.

Orange iguanas, which are native to Central and South America, can take on an orange coloration during breeding season in the late fall or early winter. It's possible that the warmer air this time of year in Colorado prompted the coloration in this animal. 

Experts warn people to be aware that iguana feces can contain salmonella, which can be a major health risk to humans and other animals. 

Colorado has a number of frogs, snakes, toads, turtles, lizards, amphibians and reptiles that survive in that state's multiple climates, in the wild, but orange iguanas are not on that list.

This story was originally published by Oscar Contreras at Scripps News Denver