Florida has had some pretty bizarre headlines in the past, but this one is a bit scaly. After reading this story, you might be checking your bathroom for any unexpected green guests–like, say, an iguana in your toilet.
Thankfully for this Florida family, they didn’t run into the reptile during the night. (Who knows what kind of nightmares that would have caused?!) Instead, homeowner Kurt Hilberth spotted the iguana out of the corner of his eye while brushing his teeth on the morning of July 24th.
“Your bare behind is over the toilet, and there’s something in there,” Hilberth told news station WFOR. “Something with teeth! Something that can bite you down there is really a shivering kind of thought. You’re at a very vulnerable point.”
Already, he knew that getting the animal out of his home would be a struggle because “it’s got that tail that whips back and forth.”
What Hilberth was describing was a spiny-tailed iguana, a dangerous and aggressive breed of the reptile. Known to bite and claw more often than other breeds, the creature very well could have harmed Hilberth or his family.
In his interview with WFOR, Hilberth revealed that he initially tried to remove the animal himself. However, already witnessing the iguana’s defensive response, he first adorned some more protective clothing. Dressed in a helmet, face mask, long sleeves and gloves, Hilberth headed towards the bathroom to evict the stubborn tenant.
“I was able to grab him by his back legs and part of the tail,” Hilberth explained. “I was pulling out, he was pulling in, the tail was going back and forth, water was flying everywhere, it was total chaos in the bathroom.”
Sadly, the reptile lost part of its tail during one of the homeowner’s attempts.
Florida Resident Gets Help From Iguana Experts
After three unsuccessful days of trying to remove the reptile, Hilberth finally called in a professional. Not a moment too soon, trapper Harold Rondan from Iguana Lifestyles arrived at the Florida residence. Rondan placed a stick into the toilet bowl to keep the animal from escaping into the shaft. Once the creature had no place to hide, the expert finally removed it, and the Hilberths realized how lucky they were to elude any injuries or illness.
“All iguanas carry a variety of bacteria,” Ron Magill of the Miami Zoo stated. “The things they’re most famous for are salmonella and botulism, but there are other bacterial infections you can get.”
Now out of the home, both humans and reptiles were safe. The Hilberths were free to use their bathroom and the iguana could find proper shelter in a more natural setting. Unfortunately for the family, they will always feel the need to check their restroom for unexpected visitors.