If you’re in Oak Bay and come across a cold, lonely iguana, call ROAM immediately.
‘Tonka’ the iguana has been missing since Friday night at around 9:30 p.m. He was last seen at the intersection of Granite St and Foul Bay Rd and is not wearing a collar.
The 3-year-old reptile is 5 feet long from nose to tail and is described as orange with a green belly.
One of the reasons why it’s so essential for Tonka to be found is due to the cold weather and the fact that iguanas experience a drop in their metabolic rates when temperatures are below around 10ºC.
Since these lizards’ body temperatures depend on the temperatures outside, they become cold-stunned and may eventually die if exposed to cold weather for long enough.
The most common example of iguanas’ reaction to chilly weather occurred in Florida last year, when residents shared images of the reptiles lying belly up in their backyards or on the side of roads.
Once temperatures start rising again, the iguanas’ blood starts to flow and they’re able to wake up from their stunned state. This makes it dangerous for people to pick them up while they’re cold-stunned, since they might get defensive once they can move.
One of Tonka’s owners told Victoria Buzz the reptile escaped from human error while cleaning the cage. They’ve been out searching under bushes and decks in the neighbourhood but haven’t had any success.
If you’re planning to help with the search, it is recommended to bring a towel or even a jacket to cover his head then he won’t panic. He is friendly but probably stressed.
If you see Tonka, contact ROAM immediately at 778-977-6260 or 778-977-6265, or email them at [email protected]