Puerto Rico needs to get rid of 4 MILLION invasive iguanas, some of which can grow to be six feet long. Short of passing a law requiring every man, woman, and child on the island to eat one iguana, what do you do about that volume of unwanted critters? Well, Puerto Rico is taking what’s probably the most lucrative option: Rounding them up, slaughtering them, and exporting the meat to the U.S.
Puerto Rico’s Department of Natural Resources will be training volunteers to round up the iguanas, then exporting the meat at prices up to $6 a pound.
Demand for iguana meat is high in U.S. states with large populations of Latino and Asian immigrants, said [Daniel] Galan [Kercado, secretary of the Department of Natural Resources], who anticipates having the plan finalized by May. It would then have to be reviewed by several government agencies before it’s approved.
This is not a profit-motivated plan — the iguanas are really destructive, as invasive species are wont to be. But given that Puerto Rico spends $80,000 a year killing iguanas just at the airport (reptile-coated runways have forced several planes to halt landings), it seems only fair that the iguanas should start bringing in some cash.