WATCH: Fisherman Pulls Up on Iguana Swimming in the Ocean 10 Miles Offshore

by Samantha Whidden
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(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Not something anyone sees every day, a fisherman pulled up on an Iguana that was swimming in the ocean 10 miles offshore. 

Last month, Key West, Florida’s Delph Fishing shared a video of the Iguana’s ocean recovery. “10 miles offshore and this thing floats by,” the caption reads. 

This isn’t the first time that an iguana has swam a bit of way from Florida Keys’ shores. In 2017, a man boating around four miles off the coast of the Florida Keys encountered one of the lizards. The reptile appeared to be disoriented. The man recorded the interaction as well. “All I could see were the multiple fins running down its back, so I thought it was some sort of palm frond. But it just didn’t look right. I ended up stopping and noticed that it started swimming.”

The video also shows the iguana swimming up to the boat after the man offered it a ride. “It was pretty cool to see it trust me enough to swim toward the kayak and hop on.” 

The man further explained that he has seen plenty of iguanas swimming around the islands. But never one very far out. “Most likely, because of the King tides that are occurring it got caught in one of the swift outgoing tides and got pushed out to sea.  I was just inside the reef so it was close to four miles from land.”

The man then added that most likely the iguana would have died without help. “But you never know and it could be its normal daily swim back and forth  between Cuba and the US.”

Green Iguana Is Now On Florida’s Prohibited Nonnative Species List 

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the green iguana is now on the prohibited nonnative species list. Future possession of the animals on the list is now limited to only a couple of purposes. These are research, education exhibition, control, or eradication. It also can qualify for commercial use sales, this is for both green iguanas and tegus only. 

Persons or businesses in possession of the prohibited reptiles had until July 2021 to liquidate their inventory in Florida. These species may not be possessed for commercial sale purposes in Florida after July 28, 2021, except green iguanas or tegus possessed by qualifying entities under a limited exception commercial use permit.”

Pet owners and other entities in possession of these species now have 90 days to come into compliance and 180 days to improve outdoor enclosures to bring them into compliance with the new caging rules. “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission provides email or text message updates on a variety of subjects, including nonnative fish and wildlife, captive wildlife and updates for licenses and permits.”

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