Louisiana Man Arrested for Transporting Duct Taped Iguanas
Louisiana has a long history with reptiles. For a while, one of the most popular television shows on cable TV featured Louisiana residents pursuing alligators on the hit show Swamp People. But the fishermen on Swamp People operate within the law. The Louisiana man involved in this story is alleged to have been doing something that was highly illegal.
The incident started on I-10 in Milton. Milton Florida, not the Milton that's in Louisiana. Officers with the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Department noticed the driver of a truck was following another vehicle a little too closely. The vehicle was pulled over and the driver was questioned.
That was when officers engaged Jairo Anibal Ramirez Caballero and asked for permission to search his vehicle. That search uncovered some 13 iguanas which were, according to the police report, scattered about the bed of the truck among tools and other equipment. The reptiles' limbs had been duct taped to their bodies.
Officers noted that the bed of the truck was covered and that offered very little ventilation to the creatures. One of the iguanas was determined to have died among its own waste and the others were not in the best of health either.
It should also be noted that iguanas are considered to be an invasive species in the state of Florida. The creatures, though not dangerous to humans, have been known to tunnel and dig, and destroy property. There have also been reports of iguana-induced damage causing power outages and more than $1.8 million dollars in damages to a dam structure in the southern part of the state.
The state of Florida actually put a bounty on iguanas in 2019 offering residents a stipend because the iguana population was growing so fast. Ramirez Caballero was charged with one felony count of torture of an animal/inflicting pain, injury, or death, along with two counts of violating Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission rules. He was also cited for traffic violations as well.
There was no official word as to what happened to the surviving reptiles. We can only assume they were taken to a place for treatment and transportation to a more fitting environment.
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