Friday, January 14, 2022

Iguana Owner Gives Up 89 Reptiles To FWC

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — According to a news report by NBC-2 news,  Iguanaland, Inc. in Punta Gorda was found to be possessing 89 green iguanas that were not permitted under new rules of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. 

Allegedly, investigators with the FWC collected the reptiles at the facility in rural Punta Gorda at 33900 Bermont Rd. in Charlotte County.

Records indicate the company is currently owned by Karen Yon Park. Last year the company was transferred to her name by Taesoon Park. Together they owned Tyherp LLC until it was dissolved in 2020.

New rules designed to protect Florida from high-risk, nonnative reptiles like iguanas were slated to take effect April 29 last year and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission took efforts to help people who had green iguanas and another reptile, tegus come into compliance.

As part of the new rules, owners had 90 days from the effective date to apply for a no-cost permit and mark the reptiles with a Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tag, also known as a microchip. Also rules were implemented for outdoor caging to prevent escape by the invasive reptiles.

Working with a variety of partners, the FWC held Tag Your Reptile Day events throughout the state to offer owners an opportunity to have their pet green iguanas or tegus microchipped for free.

Park has had complaints from neighbors for years, citing escaped reptiles coming on to their property. 

FWC said each of these charges against Park, un-tagged iguanas and improper caging is a second-degree misdemeanor and may result, if convicted, in 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500 per conviction.

Photo: Jim Conrad - Wikipedia

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