Iguanas on the menu
Thu, 23 Aug 2012 1:43p.m.
By 3 News online staff
Puerto Rico has found a solution to its plague of unwanted iguanas – find somebody to eat them.
The lizards are causing havoc on the Caribbean island reports the Wall Street Journal, being blamed for ripping up crops, delaying flights and triggering powercuts.
It's estimated there are now 4 million iguanas in Puerto Rico. Introduced as pets in the 1970s, they have no predators on the island and now outnumber humans.
"This is a real serious problem," Daniel Galán Kercadó, secretary of the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources told the paper.
Authorities recently declared iguanas a nuisance, allowing Puerto Ricans to hunt them down, but it's proved ineffective on its own.
But now authorities are planning to round them up, slaughter them en masse and export them across Central America, where their meat's not just considered tasty; it's also used as a natural medicine and aphrodisiac.
It's hoped the iguana plague will be turned into a jobs and export bonanza.
"They're a nuisance species," says Kercadó. "We need to manage that kind of invasion."
Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has slammed the move however.
"Eradicating iguanas in Puerto Rico is just senseless and cruel," Kristin Simon told the paper.
But others are excited.
"I sell every iguana I get," says Anshu Pathak, who owns a market in California.
"Sex is my main selling point," he told the paper. "Everybody likes sex, right? So please eat my iguanas."
Iguanas can grow up to 6m long and 9kg, and allegedly taste like chicken.
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