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I mean, I knew we had global warming, but this is ridiculous

Bizarre news item of the day: police in Selfoss [town in South Iceland] apprehended a metre-long lizard* in someone’s garden last night, according to a report on RÚV.

So clearly Midsummer Night is not just about cows talking and seals changing into people, but also about lizards turning up in Selfoss gardens.

Photo Magnús Hlynur Hreiðarsson, via RÚV

Of course, in keeping with Iceland’s welcoming stance towards uninvited visitors [and, indeed, refugees], the lizard will be put to sleep today.

Which I really cannot understand. Why can’t it be kept alive? I mean, I get the whole risk-of-disease thing, but haven’t these people ever heard of quarantine?

Personally I think it would make a fine addition to the Reykjavík Family Park and Zoo. I mean, just look at the little guy! Doesn’t he look as sanguine and laid-back as anybody you’ve ever seen? I bet he wouldn’t hurt a fly [OK, maybe a fly] — and he could educate the other denizens about tolerance and goodwill towards their fellow species.

* A reader on the Facebook page just alerted me to the fact that this is actually an iguana. See? They’re so rare up here we don’t even know the proper names.

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  • PRC June 24, 2010, 1:27 pm

    Put to sleep?! What a shame! If people need to be held accountable, hold them accountable for importing species without a license, whatever. Don’t euthanize an animal for something so small.

  • Michael Schulz June 24, 2010, 1:33 pm

    As an Icelandic friend said to me: people (not my friend) think asylum seekers and refugees should have stayed wherever they came from in the first place; they should have known we don’t want them because we don’t need them; whales and polar bears are needed dead, not alive.
    Don’t you know that as of late tourists also get killed in Iceland (my friend said)?
    I wonder, are lizards just part of some secret list ? Does anybody know if the Independence Party or … (!?) has such a list ? Appreciate yr advise.
    Cheers,
    Michael

  • hildigunnur June 24, 2010, 3:16 pm

    kannski stökkbreytast hnakkar í svona igúönur… (sorry, untranslateable)

  • alda June 24, 2010, 3:18 pm

    mwaha — eru svona margir hnakkar á Selfossi?

  • hildigunnur June 24, 2010, 3:44 pm

    Aðal hnakka- og skinkusvæðið, maður!

  • SOe June 24, 2010, 5:05 pm

    Alda! What happened? I miss the weather on your last posts!

  • Schneelocke June 24, 2010, 7:27 pm

    Shameful, yes. You’d think it should be possible to not preemptively kill anything you don’t know, just because it’s strange and alien…

    I wonder where he came from, too? Surely he must’ve belonged to someone, as a pet.

  • sylvia hikins June 24, 2010, 9:32 pm

    Being put to sleep sounds kinda kind. This is going to be a killing. No wonder most of the creatures that visit you are birds! At least they can make a quick exit. Surely there must be a way of quarantining it and re-settlement in Reykjavik Zoo. Methinks a rescue party sent out by your new mayor is in order. Or cast it off in a Long Boat and see where it ends up. Leifur Eiriksson eat your heart out.
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • Vikingisson June 24, 2010, 11:15 pm

    reminds me of 101 Reykjavik where people always asked why it was like a sauna in (forgot the name)’s apartment. It was to keep the lizard (forgot his name too) happy. Surely someplace is kept warm enough (data centre mascot?).

  • andy June 24, 2010, 11:54 pm

    well it is to be expected. I wanted to import my cat from the UK when I lived there. The kerfuffle of the Icelandic vet service was incredible and it required a 30 day quarantine at great expense. My UK vet said it was neither required (with pet passport) and that 30 days was useless as a min of 90 days was needed.

    Bit like the the discussion over the EEC, not smart or based in reality, but typically Icelandic.

  • Luna Sea June 25, 2010, 3:57 am

    That’s mean.

  • andy June 25, 2010, 1:52 pm

    why? worked with companies and financial services. large number of people who were patently not equipped for their role, but there because of connections…..

  • andy June 25, 2010, 1:54 pm

    and the conversations were surreal sometimes. Not saying any where else is perfect, but well…people willll believe and articulate any vision that suits their circumstances at the time, irrespective of any facts.

  • Luna Sea June 25, 2010, 6:58 pm

    @andy
    I wasn’t referring to your comment; I meant it was mean to kill the iguana.

  • sylvia hikins June 25, 2010, 10:32 pm

    andy-cats kill 27 million birds every year in the UK . I hope you know why you are keeping one? And that it wears a collar with a bell, which at least gives the birds a 47% chance of escape. (source: RSPB)
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • Chantal June 26, 2010, 1:03 am

    Iguana’s only eat insects when they are young but once they reach maturity they turn into vegetarians. They all seem to have different ideas of what is the tastiest food, some go crazy for strawberries and others prefer cabbage. It’s hilarious to see them get excited about what food they get, peek to see what it is and turn their head in disdain.

    When I lived in Holland I lived with one for a 6 years and we used to share fruit salads together in the summer. In the end I’d say it was much easier to live with the very chilled and unintentionally funny iguana compared to the boyfriend who owned it .