Iguana attack sends Florida woman to the hospital

Posted at 5:26 AM, Dec 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-06 06:35:18-05

(WBBH/NBC) - A Southwest Florida woman found out the hard way that adopting wild animals is not always a great idea.

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Amanda Gray's pet iguana named “Igmo” attacked her not once, but twice.

"She's like my baby. She used to sleep in my bra when she was little," said Gray.

"Igmo" isn't a baby anymore, but rather a four-foot adult reptile with some attitude problems.

Gray said the aggressive behavior has gotten out of control.

"She definitely used to love me, but I feel like right now I'm going through some things and she can sense my weakness and instability, so she's challenging me for alpha," Gray.

Scars from Igmo's sharp nails cover her arms and now her face. The most recent attack sent her to the hospital.

"It was a serious facial injury. I started pouring blood all over the place and screaming for help," said Gray.

Dr. Gary Nelson with Viscaya Prado Veterinary Hospital says a wild animal's behavior can change over time.

"When they're young, they're easier to manage, easier to handle. As they mature, as they get older, they take on more of the characteristics of a wild animal," said Nelson.

He says hormones could've caused the aggression and warns these kinds of pets aren't for everyone.

“Before you get any exotic animal it's very helpful to learn as much as you can about it-not learn having the animal, but learn in advance of getting the animal," said Nelson.

Gray has since found a new owner for "Igmo," who has plenty of experience with reptiles including iguanas.

She said she was sad to part ways with her beloved pet, but knew it was time.

Courtesy WBBH via NBC News Channel