For many, a big part of the Fair is the midway games and the prizes. Remember when your kid would win a Goldfish, and you thought “great, now I have to take care of a fish”… Well, one of the prizes this year could end up costing the winner thousands of dollars!
This year one of the Midway Games at the Four States Fair & Rodeo is giving Green Iguanas as prizes. Of course most kids are gonna love that, not realizing just what is involved in the care of an iguana and the associated costs that come with it.
Here are a few of the most important things to realize about “Green Iguanas”…
One of the things that has always stood out to me about Iguanas is that they have been known to spread Salmonella S Marina. (Salmonella Serotype Marina Infection). Here is a link to that Study… Iguanas and Salmonella.
Even though the reptiles are small to start, you are going to need much more than a 10-gallon tank, and quickly. An adult male will reach a size of 5.5 to 6.5 feet in length with proper care, and females are only a little smaller and it does not take long for them to reach this size. They do not sell a tank large enough for an adult Iguana, meaning that pet is going to need it’s own room, or some sort of very large enclosure. You could just let it run free in your home if you don’t mind most of your belongings being destroyed, and the miserable heat and humidity you would need to keep your home at for the reptile’s comfort and health.
Your mature Iguana will need care. So, what if you wanna go out of town? You will have to find someone that has experience in taking care of Iguanas look after your pet. There are no places in Texarkana to board an Iguana.
Vet bills are huge. Check around Texarkana to see what vets tend to reptiles… there are very, very few. Most refer to Atlanta Animal Hospital. They do tend to reptiles, but tests must be sent to the Veterinary School at Oklahoma State University to get results.
Probably the most expensive aspect of a Green Iguana as a pet is the food. Iguanas even need specific water! There are some ready-made iguana diets on the market, but all of them cost a lot. Iguana Food costs from $6 per pound up to $100 per pound… seriously! Do your research… Click here for more GREEN IGUANA CARE SHEET.
Lisa Barr, Chief Operating Officer with the Four States Fair Association, is looking into the vendor offering Iguanas as an optional prize. She told us,
We are looking into the legalities of the lizards as prizes. The vendor has been in Texarkana, and offering the option of a live Green Iguana as prizes with the Fair for at least the last four years but this is the first time we’ve heard of problems with it. We take the welfare of animals, and reptiles very seriously, and have experts coming to look in on the lizards.
If your child comes home with a goldfish, it’s not that big of a deal, but when they bring home an Iguana, there is going to be a LOT to taking care of the reptile. If you want to find a good home, there are Reptile Rescues, just as with any other pet, here is a link to Texas Reptile and Small Animal Rescue, and they can lead you to someone that can take the lizard off of your hands.