HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Brutal video showing a group of people abusing an iguana has drawn the interest of wildlife officials who are now investigating the incident.
In the video, a few kids are seen running over the animal with a shopping cart and throwing whatever they can at it as it tries to get away.
The video comes a little over a week after Florida officials had to clarify a message sent earlier that encouraged the public to kill the invasive species.
"It was really sad to watch and horrific," said Perry Colato, who runs Redline Iguana Removal.
Colato's job is to capture and humanely euthanize iguanas. He couldn't stomach to watch the video.
"We are in the removal business of iguanas and, you know, we do that daily," Colato said. "But we want to do it right, and seeing people run them over with shopping carts and things like that. It was terrible to watch and I felt bad for the animals."
Iguanas do harm local wildlife. They're not native and have no predators. They also do damage to building foundations, but this is not what was intended from the public.
It's not known when and where the video was taken, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is now investigating.
"This is despicable behavior, and we do not tolerate animal cruelty," said Eric Sutton, executive director of the FWC. "We take this very seriously and our Division of Law Enforcement is investigating."
For now, those whose job it is to control the iguana population are asking people to be mindful of how they eliminate the animals.
"You want to do it safely and humanely," Colato said. "For respect for the animal and for everything else."