Escapee Iguana living up 30ft tree in Pakefield, Suffolk

Iguana up a tree in Lowestoft Image copyright Colin Cooper
Image caption The 5ft (1.5m) pet iguana has made a new home for himself at the top of a very tall tree near its owner's house

A pet iguana has been living up a 30ft (9m) tree for three months after making an escape from its enclosure.

The 5ft-long (1.5m) reptile has become the talk of Pakefield, near Lowestoft, occasionally coming down for a spot of sunbathing outside the local fish and chip shop.

Owner Mike Hamilton said he had tried to entice it down but his iguana was "living the life of Riley" up the tree.

The "toilet-trained, ever-so friendly" pet would return when ready, he added.

"He's been up there for three months now, he's enjoying himself and he won't come down," Mr Hamilton said.

More on this and other news from lizard-friendly Suffolk

The iguana appears to have made his home at the top of the tree and, despite taking the occasional day trip, has so far evaded capture.

Image copyright Rani Coleman
Image caption Rani Coleman spotted the iguana near the fish and chip shop

Rani Coleman, who works at the chip shop, said: "A customer came in one day and said there was a lizard on the floor.

"We didn't believe it, but there it was, basking in the sun on the pavement."

She said customers told her they had seen the "huge" iguana in various places and when she arrived at work earlier "everyone was there with their binoculars out".

"I knew straight away that they'd found it," she added.

Image caption Owner Mike Hamilton said he did not think his "bull-headed" pet wanted to come home

The iguana is currently sitting on its tree-top perch at the end of All Saints Road, about four houses away from where it used to live with its owner.


  • Iguanas are one of the most popular reptiles to be kept as pets
  • Native to Central and South America, the lizards can grow up to 6ft (1.8m) in length and weigh up to 15lb (6.8kg)
  • Iguanas are herbivores, feeding on jungle leaves, fruits and flowers in the wild
  • In captivity they are more likely to eat lettuce, turnips and bananas
  • While they are popular as pets, they can become aggressive and have razor-sharp teeth, claws and lashing tails
  • In captivity, the reptiles are not social animals and putting two together may result in them seriously injuring or even killing each other


Local resident Angela Hills said people were throwing fruit to try to tempt the iguana down from the tree, but she had concerns for the animal's safety as it was close to a busy road.

Mr Hamilton said he did not think his "bull-headed" but harmless iguana wanted to be caught.

Image caption Reptile fan Ashley Wilson, 16, who hopes one day to own an iguana, went along to try to entice the creature out of its tree

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