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7-Year-Old Girl Attacked By 6-Foot Iguana

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posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 09:27 PM
And in today's bizarre news you won't hear anywhere else...One thing that wasn't mentioned was whether this was a wild creature, or somebodies overgrown household pet?

OAKLAND PARK, Fla. -- A 7-year-old South Florida girl is recovering after a 6-foot iguana bit her foot and tore away tendons. Authorities say Madison Wells was dropping strawberries on the ground for the iguana Wednesday when the animal struck. The girl said she thought the iguana would lick her feet.

The iguana clamped its jaws around Madison's right foot. The damage required 23 stitches and is keeping her from wiggling four of her toes. She is scheduled to have surgery soon to repair her tendons.

Wildlife officials said iguana's are not prone to attacking humans and are not typically aggressive. They say it's likely the iguana thought Madison's foot was one of the strawberries on the ground.


[edit on 1-10-2009 by DimensionalDetective]

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 09:29 PM
You know the thing is just too big when it mistakes a childs foot for a strawberry

My uncle had a 12 foot long python when I was a kid. Kept getting out of the fishtank he kept it in. One night he came home from the bar and the thing was coiled up on top of the fridge where it was cool, Decided to drop on his shoulders. Needless to say, he got rid of it soon afterwards.

[edit on 1-10-2009 by D.E.M.]

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 09:43 PM

You all know how I feel about keeping exotic species as pets. Especially large, potentially dangerous reptiles near kids (and by that I don't mean aggressive, I mean super super strong jaws and poor judgement skills on the part of the iguana as compared to human judgement... although in this case I think the girl showed poor judgement and the iguana loved strawberries.)

In other news, tendon flexion deformities are one of the most common anatomical findings during exams. I have one on my pinky.

But... she wanted it to lick her feet.

This is clearly a case of "Oh hi I'm a good parent I'm going to leave my kid poorly supervised with a huge lizard and not teach her basic reptile handling safety."

I could be wrong. But that's what I see right now. I don't think I would ever let a kid feed reptiles at all except for maybe putting food in a bowl for it until they were at least ten.

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 09:43 PM
I'm not sure why somebody would try entice a 6 foot lizard to lick their feet, but there you go.

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 09:44 PM
Awe, that is sad. The innocent girl had good intentions, the reptile didn't.

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 09:47 PM
That is crazy!

I grew up in a house where my brother and father bred and raised reptiles (iguanas, monitors, geckos, chameleons and many other types). We even had a 6' (with tail) monitor that we would take on a leash outside. At one point we had about 30 reptiles at once (diff kinds). I need to find pictures and scan them in (no digi cams back then). We had a huge room in the basement my father built for these animals....and a huge cage for the monitor that was about 10' long.

We had lots of Iguanas (babies and huge old adults)...and they were the most gentle creatures. So, its hard for me to imagine this was really an Iguana. This story is sad. The parents should never have taught her proper handling of this animal

[edit on October 1st 2009 by greeneyedleo]

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 09:50 PM
reply to post by DimensionalDetective

Sorry, but this does not sound like an Iguana, it sounds instead like a Goanna.

The goanna is native to Australia, and is related to the Monitor Lizard, or Komodo Dragon.

I have seen a goanna, a four foot long one as a matter of fact, when I went to Australia.

I have been to Australia three times, my first visit is when I saw it back in 2001.

I have never heard of Iguana's getting to six foot long, but I could be mistaken.

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 09:51 PM
reply to post by greeneyedleo

Yeah, I mean... it's just a basic misunderstanding of proper reptile feeding. That's all.

We just got a new skink on campus. It's adorable. I was chilling with the rosy boas last night, too. Reptiles are amazing. But in a case like that, the confusion of the strawberry versus the foot is not really the fault of the reptile. Iguanas actually feed by color. So... pink toes...

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 09:52 PM
reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas

It grows to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) in length from head to tail, although a few specimens have grown more than 2 metres (6.6 ft) with bodyweights upward of 20 pounds (9.1 kg).

I've seen them reach six feet, personally.

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 10:16 PM
The child should have been supervised while the reptile was loose. It's a shame the little girl had to go through that. My niece's husband has many variaties of reptiles and their child is not allowed to go near them without a parent by his side.

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 10:33 PM
Im sure the kid thought the animal was just like a dog. And assumed it would act like one. Im sure she wont make that mistake again.

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 10:34 PM

Originally posted by SpartanKingLeonidas

I have never heard of Iguana's getting to six foot long, but I could be mistaken.

I'm pretty familiar with Iguanas and they can definitely reach 6 feet in length, especially the males.

However, a 6 foot long iguana is not as large as you might imagine it is. First of all, 70% of the length is going to be just the tail. Also, iguanas are slender creatures so what you are basically dealing with is a 2 and a half foot long lizard with a really long tail.

That being said, I've been bit by iguanas on a few occasions and it hurts! They have a row of tiny sharp teeth used normally to shred vegetation. The bites aren't deep but they can tear a good amount of skin or flesh away if they bite hard enough. However, they will only bite on accident, it is not a natural defense mechanism for them. When iguanas get defensive, they will typically whip with their tail. The article is probably correct in that the iguana mistakenly bit the girl's foot thinking it was food, in my experience iguana's usually accidentally bite during feeding time.

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 11:01 PM
er... maybeeeee

she had stepped on some smushed strawberries and her feet had strawberry juice on them..

either that OR...

her name is Strawberry Shortcake and if you scratch her scalp she emits strawberry scents......



posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 11:11 PM
I used to have a large iguana (6 ft+). I once went on a trip and the neighbor offered to feed/water it, apparently the iguana bit him pretty badly and also whipped him with it's tail. They are not generally aggressive (mine never bit me) but they can be dangerous.

[edit on 10/1/2009 by NJE03]

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 11:51 PM
My father sent me a few pictures of our Monitors. He also corrected me that Donnie (the bigger one) was not 6' but more like 3' (including tail). Im waiting for them to scan more in and send.

Ah...and both made their way to the National Zoo (in WDC) when my parents moved and had to adopt out all the reptiles.

[edit on October 1st 2009 by greeneyedleo]

posted on Oct, 1 2009 @ 11:55 PM
reply to post by D.E.M.

One of my moms friends.. her husband had a python.. Except it would get out and go wiggle around their sons crib.

The python had to go.

They are cool pets and all but I'd keep a huge bowie on my like Crocodile Dundee if I owned one

posted on Oct, 2 2009 @ 12:16 AM
There are iguanas all over Florida. I have seen some huge green iguana at Key Biscayne Golf course. Easily 6 ft. or longer. When it gets cold they literally rain out of the trees. They go into a deep sleep below 40 degrees and can no longer hang on. Once it warms up they generally snap back to life. Lots of exclusive neighborhoods are being invaded. One of the few ways of getting rid of them without violence is just wait for it to get cold.

posted on Oct, 2 2009 @ 02:21 AM
When i first read the title i thought,
"There is no such thing as a 6ft Iguana!"
and thought it was another reptilian thread

posted on Oct, 2 2009 @ 02:56 AM
thats terrible of what happened to the girl.
I've seen quite a lot of large goannas in the australian outback and feeding of such wild lizards is not recommended, they do become territorial and can trash any unsupervised camps on the search for food.
their claws are always the most dangerous part to watch out for but can also inflict nasty bites, 6 footers are around.

posted on Oct, 2 2009 @ 03:05 AM
Well I can tell you first hand being from Ft.Lauderdale that these Iguanas are a real problem here in FL.

My father and I fish very often and these Iguanas are pretty much everywhere your eyes can see and they are huge. I have never seen a 6' but they've been around 3' to 4' in size.

zoologist are saying people buy these as pets and when they reach a certain size ( which is often too big for there likes they release them ) and the urban areas along with the rural are being saturated with exotic wildlife.

[edit on 2-10-2009 by Guru97]

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