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Iguana responsible for 'large-scale' power outage in South Florida city, leaders say

Iguanas are an invasive species in Florida and take up residence largely in South Florida.

LAKE WORTH, Fla. — Only in Florida — an iguana is reportedly to blame for part of a South Florida city going dark for several hours Wednesday.  

Just before 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, city of Lake Worth Beach leaders said utility workers were responding to a "large-scale" outage at its 6th Avenue Substation. It was caused by an iguana, leaders said.

The city said the outage affected customers living in the southeast area of Lake Worth Beach Electric Utility's service territory. 

As of early Thursday morning, no reported outages can be seen on the city's outage map. It is not immediately clear when exactly power was restored. 

Iguanas are an invasive species in Florida and take up residence largely in South Florida. Because they are considered an invasive species due to their impacts on native wildlife, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said green iguanas aren't protected in Florida — except by anti-cruelty law — and can be captured and "humanely" killed throughout the year without a permit or hunting license. 

The number of iguanas in some parts of Florida is prompting some local leaders in South Florida to propose incentives to motivate people to help curb the problem. 

Earlier this year, Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez pitched the idea of putting a bounty on iguanas. 

“I don’t know — dead or alive. But if we pay per iguana, we’re going to get more iguanas,” she said during a September city commission meeting. “People are going to go out and hunt them for money. So I think that’s a better use of our money...”

Wildlife Removal Services says some of the green iguanas can damage infrastructure "by digging their burrows, which will erode and collapse sidewalks, seawalls, berms, carnal bangs, and foundations."

Lake Worth Beach Electric Utility is currently responding to a large scale outage caused by an iguana at our 6th Ave...

Posted by City of Lake Worth Beach on Wednesday, December 7, 2022


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