A stray iguana was rescued from a tree after eluding capture for two months.
The amazing rescue involved six RSPCA inspectors, including members of the specialist water rescue team, and a local tree surgeon from Hortus Trees and Landscapes.
An attempt had been made to catch the iguana - thought to be either an escaped or dumped pet - after he was spotted in the tree over the canal on Sunningdale Crescent, Hest Bank but was unsuccessful after he disappeared into the water.
RSPCA deputy chief inspector (DCI) Carl Larsson said: “We couldn’t believe it when we got the call saying he was back in the cherry tree.
“Kevin Backhouse from Hortus - who kindly offered his services for free - attended and climbed up the tree and began to saw off branches, encouraging the iguana to move further out over the canal where four of us from the RSPCA water rescue team were waiting in the water with a tarpaulin and a net.
“When the iguana jumped and landed on the tarpaulin he tried to make his escape but luckily this time we were quick enough to catch him.”
The young male iguana was taken straight to a specialist exotics vet at The Veterinary Health Centre in Lytham St Anne’s for examination where he was found to be cold but in otherwise good health.
He’s now been transferred to an exotics expert.
“It’s thought he’d been straying for around two months, that’s how long the callers said they’d been seeing him around for,” said DCI Larsson. “It’s a miracle that he’s survived out in the open for so long.
“The weather between Friday and Monday was cold, wet and windy and we weren’t holding out much hope for him.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved, including the callers who kept us warm with hot drinks and home-made cake.
“Hopefully we’ll find this lucky iguana’s owner, but if not he’ll be rehomed.”
The rescue took place on Monday (September 10),
Anyone who thinks he might be theirs, or who knows anything about where he might have come from is urged to contact the RSPCA appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and ask to leave a message for Inspector Larsson.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing animals like this please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give