Green Iguana

Green iguanas are one of the most common animals we get turned in at the rescue but are the least common to be adopted out. We have an entire building dedicated just to these iguanas and are often out of room for more. We have built them all large custom enclosures with a window so they can go into an outdoor enclosure when it's warm. We're at the point where we really need to have a second building to keep up with demand.

Godzilla - This gorgeous 11 year old came to us all the way from New Jersey. After some quarantine time inside, he will be heading out to check out his new indoor/outdoor home with the other iguanas.
Blue - This pretty boy is actually from the same home as our tegu, Zilla. He is in great health and is absolutely loving his new outdoor summer enclosure.
Bayou - Green iguanas come in several colors, such as this sweet blue girl. Bayou has not been to events yet but she is getting bigger and more used to handling so she may make an appearance in the near future.
Izzy - At around 11 years old, Izzy has been here the longest. He has been with the rescue since 2013 and used to be up for adoption. He is now considered a sanctuary animal due to attitude and skin issues. He also used to do educational programs but has since retired.
Broach - Our big red girl has been to a few educational events but she honestly just hates doing them. She is very happy to just spend her days eating large amounts of iguana salad!
Big Boy - This poor guy was found on the side of the road with his hands tied behind his back. He is wild-caught and likely brought up here for food and then discarded for some reason. He was a wonderful patient while being treated for all his injuries but he is just terrified of people. He hates being touched and hates being locked up but unfortunately there is no alternative for him anymore. He must stay in sanctuary.
Sobe - Many of you have met our sweet Sobe girl. She is a very small female iguana with only half a bottom jaw. She had many health issues when she was younger so she will never grow to her full potential. She also had part of her tail removed. She is one of the best educational animals we've ever had and good for teaching people what happens when you don't properly care for them. With her disabilities, she gets a lot of extra attention and special care.
Common Name: Green Iguana
Scientific Name: Iguana Iguana
Type: Lizard
Diet: Herbivore
Average Life Span: 15 to 20 years in the wild, 20+ in captivity
Size: 6 - 7 feet in length
Weight: 20 lbs
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern
Current Population Trend: Unknown

About The Green Iguana

Green, or common, iguanas are among the largest lizards in the Americas, averaging around 6.5 feet long and weighing up to 20 pounds.

In Captivity as Pets

They are also among the most popular reptile pets in the United States, despite being quite difficult to care for properly. In fact, most captive iguanas die within the first year, and many are either turned loose by their owners or given to reptile rescue groups. Many captive male iguanas can become extremely aggressive during breeding season, which is another reason owners try to get rid of them. Females can get grumpy in season as well, but are prone to health problems such as egg binding. Iguanas need higher humidity than many owners can provide which leads to health issues from chronic dehydration.

Range and Habitat

The green iguana’s extensive range comprises the rain forests of northern Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean Islands, and southern Brazil. They spend most of their lives in the canopy, descending only infrequently to mate, lay eggs, or change trees.


Strictly herbivores, iguanas are active during the day, feeding on leaves, flowers, and fruit. They generally live near water and are excellent swimmers. If threatened, they will leap from a branch, often from great heights, and escape with a splash to the water below. They are also tough enough to land on solid ground from as high as 40 feet and survive.

Defensive Adaptations

Iguanas' stout build gives them a clumsy look, but they are fast and agile on land. They have strong jaws with razor-sharp teeth and sharp tails, which make up half their body length and can be used as whips to drive off predators. They can also detach their tails if caught and will grow another without permanent damage.

Invasive Species

The common green iguana breeds rapidly, laying anywhere from 20 to 70+ eggs per clutch every year. They are invasive in many tropical countries and islands, and in southern Florida. In some countries, the main reason for culling this species is because they breed with other types of iguanas have almost completely wiped out the bloodlines of some species.

Source: National Geographic