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GASPARILLA MAGAZINE JULY/AUG 2016 border of the two counties, and of course on the land I’m not allowed to hunt them on,” he said. “This time of the year it’s a little bit harder to find them, with everything being green they tend to camouflage better. And there’s a lot more vegetation around, too. But I’ve noticed a lot more anoles around the island, which is a great food source for our birds. I also noticed some Florida king snakes on the island that weren’t here for awhile, and recently I saw a juvenile gopher tortoise, the first in a long time, that was the size of a tangerine.” The iguana board will meet again this fall to rebid the project, per a county requirement. While it’s possible that someone could come in and try to outbid Cera, a man who thinks like an iguana can be a valuable asset. After a trapper is chosen they will have to go about the business, once again, of obtaining permission from individual property owners to eradicate iguanas on their property. Cera said that he isn’t happy about having to kill wildlife when he is usually trying to save it. It needs to be done, though, in order to protect the native Florida vegetation and species that exist here. “We need to stay on top of them ... we need everyone’s cooperation,” he said. “Everyone needs to understand that I like the iguanas, too. But our native animals are dying, and there are some people out here who don’t understand that and won’t let me on their land to trap them.” Cera said that one man even told him if he did eventually get rid of all of the island’s iguanas, he would buy more, bring them back and turn them loose. Which brings us back to Bumps Johnson. His cousin, Capt. Robert Johnson who has lived on the island his whole life, once told Bumps, “You know, you can have them all back for $20 a piece.” If you have a lizard problem in your area, you can contact Cera at theiguanahunter@aol.com, or on the “Lizard Control Boca Grande” Facebook page. 55 Iguana tracks in the sand. Camo iguana. Top photo, a juvenile iguana. Center, just hanging out on the top of a stump. Below, two very large fully mature iguanas who used to live down by South Beach Bar & Grille ... used to.


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