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Man shocked to find iguana in toilet spends days trying to get rid of it

Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 2:37 AM EDT
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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WFOR) - A Florida man spent several days trying to fish a spiny-tailed iguana out of his toilet after he found it splashing around in the bowl. He ultimately had to call in the experts to remove the creature.

Kurt Hilberth first noticed the unwanted toilet intruder out of the corner of his eye when he went to the bathroom July 24 to brush his teeth.

“It was so big that it was not submerged completely in the water, and it’s got that tail that whips back and forth,” Hilberth said.

After several days, the family called in an expert trapper to remove the iguana. He put a stick...
After several days, the family called in an expert trapper to remove the iguana. He put a stick in the toilet, so the creature could crawl onto it. He was then able to grab it and remove it.(Source: Kurt Hilberth, WFOR via CNN)

Dressed in protective clothing and gloves and with encouragement from his family, Hilberth went to fish the iguana out of the toilet, but it kept swimming back down, eluding capture.

Three days later, he almost got it.

“I was able to grab him by his back legs and part of the tail. I was pulling out [and] he was pulling in. The tail was going back and forth. Water was flying everywhere. It was total chaos inside this small bathroom,” Hilberth said. “Unfortunately, I was left with merely a handful of tail.”

The iguana swam back down into the bowels of the toilet, its tail breaking off in Hilberth’s hand. The tail was still moving when he rushed it outside.

That was when Hilberth decided to call in the experts. Trapper Harold Rondan from Iguana Lifestyles positioned a stick in the toilet, hoping the iguana would crawl out onto it, and it worked. He was then able to grab the creature and remove it.

Hilberth says it’s creepy thinking about what could have happened had someone not noticed the iguana in the middle of the night and sat down to use the toilet.

“Something big, something with teeth, something that can bite you down there is really a shivering kind of thought. You’re at a very vulnerable point,” he said.

It’s believed the iguana likely crawled into the Hilberth home through the sewage vent stack on the roof. The family fastened metal mesh to the vent stack in order to prevent another issue.

Ron Magill from Zoo Miami warns that iguanas, with their claws, teeth and spiky tails, can carry disease.

“The spiny-tailed iguana does tend to be more aggressive. It’s quicker to bite, should it be handled,” he said. “All iguanas carry a variety of bacteria. The things they’re most famous for are salmonella and botulism.”

It’s recommended for those who find an iguana in their home to call the experts, rather than trying to remove it themselves.

Copyright 2021 WFOR via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.