Residents in Brickell Key upset over removal of iguanas

MIAMI - Non-native iguanas on man-made Brickell Key have the 44-acre island in turmoil. Residents are at odds with the management association over how to deal with "too many" of the much-loved reptiles.

Most days, kids played with the iguanas, workers took pictures of them, and visitors fed them bananas. The iguanas on Brickell Key seemingly had it made. 

"They are harmless, and the kids love them," said Leyla Nunez. 

"They always say let's go see the iguanas. It's something to do. The kids love to feed them and watch them," added Christina Cipolletti. 

Watchers nicknamed some of the larger iguanas, including Senior and Iggy, but both aren't on the island anymore.

The Brickell Key Master Association does maintenance on the island and told property owners in June that the iguanas will continue to live here, albeit as a smaller population. To residents, that meant the association was removing them. 

"I've been hearing awful things from my fellow residents, that the snares that they have used to trap them disarmed some of them, dismembered them," said Grace Carricarte, who has lived in Brickell Key for eight years. "That the children are witnessing them being thrown into traps."

Carricarte and others asked questions of the maintenance company they get assessed for. So far on Brickell Key, the residents have hit a brick wall. 

"I've just been very upset at the lack of response from them, and trying to seek clarity, I can't help but think that they look pretty bad," Carricarte said.

Brickell Key Master Association sent a statement to Local 10, saying in part: "We've had a professional animal removal company assess the safe transport and relocation of some of the iguanas, and are continuing to review humane options."

But that didn't answered some residents' questions.

"I would love to know: A, what motivated this? And B, why were residents not a part of the decision-making process?" said Carricarte.

Residents hoped to have a meeting with Brickell Key Master Association.

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