EnRICHing the iguana/keeper relationship through accurate care information and compassionate re-homing.
You just acquired your first Green Iguana. Maybe you bought a hatchling
at a pet store. Or even better yet, you adopted an iguana from a
rescue. But you're not sure if it's a male or female. Or you’re not
sure how to care for it properly. You need quality information that will
give you the tools to make your iguana thrive.That is the purpose of Resource for Iguana Care and Adoption.
are not for everyone and they require specialized care. But if you are
willing to commit to it’s proper husbandry, are willing to house a
lizard that can grow to six feet long, and weigh up to 15 pounds, and
are willing to give it the veterinary care that any other captive pet
deserves, you will engage with an animal that is intelligent,
fascinating, sometimes aloof, sometimes affectionate, always a
challenge. And your life will never be the same. Welcome to the
wonderful, wild, wacky world of the Great Green Iguana.
Meet Kathy - President of RICA
The first time I saw an iguana was while I was waiting at a stoplight. I looked over to the driver next to me, and there was this lizard type creature on the dash. We both had our windows down, and I yelled over "Is that thing real?" He nodded yes. "What is it?" I asked. "An iguana" was the reply. The light turned green and we went our separate ways. I got a small handbook on iguanas at a pet store to read up on them. At that time in the early 90's there was a lot of misinformation about iguanas, but some of the things I remember about the book are correct. They get big and the males can be aggressive during breeding season. I had the room, but after reading it more, I determined I would not have the time to take care of an iguana properly.
Then, in 2002 I was working part time for a friend of mine who had a specialty fish and reptile pet store. I have raised fish for many years, but needed to educate myself about the reptiles he sold. And it was there that I met Shawn, who had two adult iguanas that needed a new home. I went to look at them, and I fell in love with the beautiful, bright green female with the intense yellow eyes, and the other female who had all of her long, gorgeous, original tail. He brought them to my house, where I already had a room in the basement set up for them to free-roam.
In June of 2003 I helped another person organize an iguana rescue. I served on the Board of Directors, first as Vice President, then later as Director of Community Outreach, and Team Leader of Home Visits.
In May of 2006, a tragic event happened that changed my opinion of this rescue. It involved the death of one of the fostered iguanas, due to neglect.Moe and three other iguanas were abandoned to live in filthy cages with no food, or heat. Fortunately, they were removed from the premises. But not in time for Moe, and sadly, she did not make it through the night. She was forced to endure a slow, painful death, which was completely avoidable.
I resigned from this organization and created RICA as an outreach and educational portal to help iguanas thrive in captivity, thereby enriching the iguana/keeper relationship. It is my enthusiastic desire to dispel myths, provide accurate husbandry facts, and share tips from real life personal experience that will enable you, the iguana "kept", to enjoy your green friend to the highest degree possible.
I hope you enjoy this website and use it often. Please feel free to give us suggestions to make this site a better place.
Kathy Claugherty Kept by iguanas since January 2002.
Meet Asra, Friend of RICA
I've always loved lizards; in fact, the first
book I could read by myself was called Dinosaur Time. (I could pronounce all of the dinosaur names with the
help of the phonetic spelling in parentheses).
At fairs, I begged my parents to get that foam lizard on a wire that would look
like you were walking a lizard on a leash. But I wanted a real lizard—a big
I got that opportunity as a freshman in college, and was consequently kicked
of the dormitory the year after, following the discovery of my iguana bathing
happily in the dorm's bathtub. Whoops. (I definitely do not advocate getting pets when
living in places that do not allow them.)
I made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot from my first iguana, including
choice of veterinarian. My first veterinarian told me to feed her crickets
(cringe), but also did help get rid of a skin fungus which she had when I bought her—another
learning experience, as I did not even know what a healthy baby iguana should look like.
Now, several iguana books and online iguana forums later, I know a lot more
about these fascinating giants. I'm glad I can be a part of this new
organization to make a difference for new and potential iguana owners to get it right the first time.
These great greenies can be amazing to watch, hold, and feed—just like little dinosaurs.
Meet Jeff - Liaison to MHS
Jeff LeClere is interested in all aspects of herpetology from the care and breeding of all exotic species to the study and documentation of native herpetofauna. He is a long time member of the Minnesota Herpetological Society and had served on the board of directors on and off for over a decade. He has extensive herpetological field experience in the upper Midwest, primarily in Iowa and Minnesota. He is the author and photographer of www.HerpNet.net, has authored several publications on amphibians and reptiles, presented to a wide variety of venues from herpetological societies and fairs to state wildlife meetings and symposiums, and is currently employed by the MN DNR’s Minnesota Biological Survey program where he is in charge of three different projects involving mark-recapture and radio telemetry on bullsnakes, plains hognose snakes, eastern hognose snakes, and racers. He is also the chairman of the Amphibian and Reptile Subcommittee for the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan, and serves on the Amphibian and Reptile STAT team for the Minnesota Wildlife Action Plan. He has just completed a book, “A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Iowa” and is working on a field guide to the herps of North Dakota.