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News article created on 27 August 2013

Iguana found on Kennet & Avon Canal

An iguana has been found on the historic Caen Hill Lock Flight in Devizes, Wiltshire. The discovery was made just in the nick of time too, as a lawn mowing team were working in the area at the time.

The canal has hundreds of different species of wildlife living on it, but never have we known it to be home to an iguana. Laura Plenty

Members of the public discovered the reptile by lock 44 of the Kennet & Avon Canal and reported it to our staff, who rescued it from an untimely end.

A local vet has given ‘Lucky’ the iguana a clean bill of health, as he was suffering from dehydration and it was not known when he last feed. ‘Lucky’ has now been adopted by a staff member from the Trust and is enjoying his new vivarium with a heat pad for warmth and is tucking into a special treat of strawberries, watercress, asparagus, peas and pods.

Alan Giddings, a lock keeper from the Trust, who helped to rescue Lucky, said: “It was quite a shock to see him amongst the vegetation, but if we had left him where he was, he could have been killed by the grass cutting team who were working on the flight at the time.”

Unusual animal sightings

Laura Plenty, ecologist at the Trust, added: “The canal has hundreds of different species of wildlife living on it, but never have we known it to be home to an iguana. It’s exciting to find it, but also concerning because we can only think that he must have been someone’s pet. Maybe the owner had enough and just let him go, or maybe Lucky made a dash for freedom and is being sadly missed. Either way, the canal isn’t suitable habitat for an exotic animal which needs specific looking after.”

An iguana is the latest in a line of unusual animal sightings on the Kennet & Avon Canal in Wiltshire this summer, with bearded dragons and grass snakes cooling off in the water, also being spotted.