Miami, Dec. 8 - A green iguana, one of the non-native animal species that cause most problems in Florida, left more than a thousand users without electricity in Palm Beach County (eastern state), local media reported Thursday.
The iguana got into a substation of the Lake Worth Beach power grid on Wednesday and, by touching one of the transformers with its tail, caused a blackout that left some 1,500 homes and businesses located in the southern part of the city of Palm Beach without power.
According to WPTV-TV, the malfunction was fixed in less than an hour and power was restored.
According to Ben Kerr, spokesman for the Lake Worth Beach Mayor's Office, the municipality has taken measures against this type of problems caused by iguanas and other animals.
"We've cut the incidents in half from last year, thanks to a package of safety measures. The problem with iguanas is that because they are large, they basically go over the lines," Kerr said.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) warns that green iguanas, which arrived in the state from the southern U.S. mainland in the 1960s, can cause considerable damage to infrastructure.
To curb the spread of iguanas, the FWC gradually banned the possession and sale of almost twenty reptiles, including green iguanas and tegus lizards, until 2024.
FWC reminds on its website that green iguanas can be "humanely" killed because, like all non-native invasive species, they are not protected, except by the anti-cruelty law.