Illegal Bearded Dragon Lizard Captured in Waiʻanae

April 12, 2016, 4:19 PM HST · Updated April 13, 4:25 PM
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Foot long bearded dragon lizard captured in Waiʻanae. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture.

Foot long bearded dragon lizard captured in Waiʻanae. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture.

A foot-long illegal bearded dragon lizard was captured in Waiʻanae on Friday, and turned over to the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture.

The woman who captured the creature outside of her Puʻuhulu Road home, reportedly thought it was an iguana; but when quarantine inspectors arrived, they discovered that it was a bearded dragon.

Agricultural officials say that in 2014, a Kailua resident found a bearded dragon under his home and also had mistaken it for an iguana.

Iguanas are established in some areas on Oʻahu, but are illegal to possess and transport.  Agricultural officials say bearded dragons are native to central Australia and are common in the pet trade on the Mainland, but are illegal to possess in Hawaiʻi.

Foot long bearded dragon lizard captured in Waiʻanae. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture.

Foot long bearded dragon lizard captured in Waiʻanae. Photo credit: Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture.

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According to department reports, bearded dragons may grow up to two feet in length and their diet consists of insects, flowers, fruit and vegetable matter. Larger adults may also consume small rodents and invertebrates.

Individuals possessing illegal animals are subject to stiff penalties, including fines of up to $200,000 and up to three years in jail.

Individuals with illegal pets are encouraged to voluntarily turn them in under the department’s Amnesty Program, which offers immunity from prosecution.

Anyone with information or knowledge of illegal animals in Hawaiʻi is asked to call the department’s PEST HOTLINE at 643-PEST(7378).

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