FOSTER CITY (CBS SF) – A Bay Area woman returning from a vacation in Mexico last month was surprised to discover a baby iguana had stowed away in her luggage.
According to the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, the Foster City woman found the spiny-tailed iguana in her bikini top while unpacking from a trip to Cancun on August 5th.
After discovering the iguana, the woman immediately brought the reptile to the humane society.
“She had put her bathing suit out to dry on the balcony of her hotel room, and the next morning, packed up her belongings in her suitcase,” said PHS/SPCA communications manager Buffy Martin Tarbox.
PHS/SPCA said they reached out to Department of Fish and Wildlife officials and the USDA and found the iguana did not need to be quarantined or returned to Mexico. After being treated for dehydration, the iguana was taken to an animal sanctuary.
Officials said spiny-tailed iguanas are not a threatened species and are a common sight in Mexico.
The PHS/SPCA recommends travelers carefully shake out gear and clothing before packing to prevent animals from being transported away from their native areas.