Iguana spotted in East County neighborhood returns home after positive ID

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EL CAJON, Calif. – Speedy the iguana was as quick as advertised. Almost fast enough to evade capture if not for the outstretched net of a San Diego Humane Society officer.

Speedy, a 16-year-old iguana, was returned to his owner Sunday, March 21, 2021 after turning up several homes away the previous day in an El Cajon, Calif. neighborhood. (San Diego Humane Society)

Neighbors spotted a “very large” stray iguana Saturday afternoon in the 1400 block of Merriwether Way in El Cajon. Video captured by Humane Officer Sydney Tani shows her approach the lizard slowly, reaching out with a net when it dashes off down the sidewalk several feet before finally being captured.

The iguana’s owner later contacted the Humane Society and was able to identify Speedy, spokeswoman Nina Thompson said. It turns out the 16-year-old reptile had escaped his enclosure “just a few homes from where he was found,” according to Thompson.

Speedy was transported to the Humane Society’s San Diego campus after being captured and returned home on Sunday.

“We are so thrilled that this had a happy ending,” Thompson said.

More information on lost pets in San Diego, including on microchipping and licensing animals, is available online at sdhumane.org/returnhome.

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