PALMETTO, Fla. - Look before you sit! That's the message one Florida woman is sending after she came face to face with an iguana, staring up at her from inside her toilet.
"I hate them. I am so terrified of them," Dani Craven said. "I had a lizard jump on my face when I was five. So when people say, 'Oh it's just a lizard,' No! It's my worst fear. So that’s why I freaked out the way I did and I wasn’t gonna go near it," Craven said.
Craven is heard on video screaming while her 9-year-old daughter stood on the bathroom counter top.
"All I could see were scaly, like a scaly tail. I couldn’t tell if it was an alligator or a lizard, I didn’t know."
Craven has heard of baby alligators being flushed down the toilet and living in sewers - but iguanas?
That's exactly what one Florida wildlife expert believes happened, (though it is quite possible that the iguana may have escaped its enclosure and simply wandered into Craven's home.)
Justin Matthews with Matthews Wildlife Rescue says the reptile is a spiny-tail iguana and he plans to keep the lizard for educational purposes.
Spiny-tail iguanas are now established in parts of Florida, and it appears the one who invaded Craven's toilet is a baby, as it's still green and small, unlike full grown adults, which can reach up to four feet long!
According to Reptiles Magazine, spiny-tail iguanas make bad pets, and "remain nervous, biting viciously and lashing with their tails at whatever annoys them."
It's a good thing no one sat on the toilet before discovering the iguana!
"Check out your toilet before you use it," Matthews said, and Craven will definitely be following that advice!
When she called a friend to help capture the lizard, animal-lover Shannon Walker gladly obliged, but quickly realized that the animal didn't love her back.
"It freaking hissed at me!" Walker yelled, as Craven captured the chaotic reptile rescue on camera.
Using gardening gloves and a net, Walker worked while Craven screamed.
The Great Toilet Terror of 2017 will go down in Craven family history...
"I was so scared to go to the bathroom," she said. But you can bet no one was as terrified as the wayward spiny-tail iguana.
"Don’t flush your pets down the toilet!" Craven said.