Owner sought

The Botanical Garden in Bonn has an iguana problem

Zu viel Appetit auf seltenes Grünzeug: Das mehr als einen Meter lange Leguan-Weibchen hatte eine Familie 2015 im Botanischen Garten abgegeben. Jetzt wird ein versierter Abnehmer gesucht.

Too big an appetite for valuable greenery: the more than one metre long female iguana was given to the Botanical Garden by a family in 2015. It is now looking for an experienced owner.

Bonn. The Botanical Garden wants to give away a female iguana because it has eaten valuable plants in the greenhouses. An owner is now sought.

The Botanical Garden is parting from some of the animals living in its greenhouses. Four North American water turtles were recently handed over to an association specialising in these animals, custodian Cornelia Löhne told the GA. “The water turtles lived in a warm water pond and turned out to be a considerable nuisance for the plants living there. That’s why we didn’t have any tropical water lilies there anymore.” Visitors once abandoned the four specimens in the Botanical Garden.

A green iguana must also leave its current home because of its appetite for various plants. “It has already completely eaten away two tropical plant species from the acanthus family that were particularly valuable to us,” says Löhne. Bromeliads and orchids have also fallen victim to the animal, which comes from Central and South America.

Iguana brought by a family in 2015

These plants grow in the Botanical Garden on artificial branches that imitate a rain forest in the tropical house. “However, the iguana also likes to use these branches as a resting place and throws the plants to the ground,” says Löhne. The female, which is more than a metre long, was received in 2015 from a family for whom the iguana had grown too large. According to Löhne, it is not uncommon for people to want to give exotic animals such as lizards to Botanical Gardens. “At the time it was decided to try it out and see if it would work with the iguana.”

As this is apparently not the case, the Botanical Garden is now looking for an owner. “We are currently in discussions with an association,” says Löhne and adds: “We are being careful to only give the iguana into good hands.” The water dragons, on the other hand, are allowed to stay as they feed on insects.

(Original text: Matthias Kirch. Translation: kc)