Iguana trappers upsetting some residents in Lake Worth Beach neighborhood

LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla.  — Some residents in Lake Worth Beach are not feeling safe after they say iguana trappers are shooting into yards.

Melanie Valentine said her Lake Worth Beach neighborhood is “iguana central.”



“You can see they’re always here. You see them everywhere and I don’t know if you saw them in the front when you came,” she said.

Iguanas have overrun her neighborhood. There’s an iguana in the grass, there’s one acting like it’s on the beach sunning itself, and another hiding in the brush looking at the camera.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, iguanas are an invasive species and are not native to our state.

Iguanas cannot be relocated. And if a homeowner can’t remove them properly, the FWC said they should hire a trapper. But therein, lies the problem for Melanie.

“I was out here with the dogs, and I saw these guys coming south to north. Seven guys on a flat-top boat and they all had guns,” she said.

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FWC said iguanas are not protected in Florida, except by anti-cruelty law, and can be killed on private property with landowner permission.

Melanie said she has nothing against guns or getting rid of iguanas.

“I totally understand that, but they can’t shoot into my yard. They cannot shoot towards my house, towards me or my dogs, which is exactly what they’re doing,” she said.

Melanie said she filed police reports with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. She said she has confronted several trappers shooting into yards.

“And I screamed at them. I won’t repeat what they said. A lot of them are very combative and they’ll say all kinds of nasty things,” she said.

Melanie said she doesn’t feel safe going outside with her dogs when the trappers are around.

“Everyone thinks they’re a good shot but they’re not,” she said.

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