Northern Michigan lizard on the loose

This fun and important (at least to the family of the missing lizard) story began as a two-line press release.

Unlike Godzilla, he won’t likely be terrorizing any neighborhoods.

But “Squirt,” the 7-year-old green iguana owned by one local family is on the loose somewhere in Boyne City.

According to owner Michael Cain, his three-and-a-half-foot lizard is a vegetarian and very good with people.

“We let him out on his leash every now and then on the porch to sun himself and on Wednesday his leash was secured, or so we thought, and he decided to go for a walk,” Cain said.

Squirt was last seen wearing a harness around his midsection.

A long red leash was attached to the harness.

“If they see an iguana with a red leash, chances are that’s him,” Cain said. “The end of his tail is a little broken off … so it’s a little crooked there, too.”

Cain said the iguana can change colors depending on how much sun he gets.

The sunnier it is, the darker he will get.

Cain also said a human can catch an iguana, though Squirt can be quick in short bursts.

While this most recent lizard was originally a pet for his daughter, Madelyn, Cain is no stranger to the breed.

“I’ve had lizards for quite some time,” he said. “Unbeknownst to each other, my brother got me one right out of high school and I got him a lizard, too. My mother was the only one who knew about it ahead of time.”

He added, “She wasn’t thrilled about it but let us go through with it.”

Cain said that, later, after he was married, his wife bought him another lizard, which he had for many years.

“When he passed away, we didn’t have a lizard for awhile and then my daughters decided they wanted to have a lizard again, so seven years ago we got Squirt,” he said.

According to Cain, Squirt is the most mellow lizard he’s ever had, and he wasn’t too big until he discovered a new food source.

“We had to up-size his cage not too long ago after he discovered a fondness for cat food. It’s almost like iguana steroids,” Cain said. “The cat and iguana have had encounters at the food bowl and the cat is not sure what to make of it.”

A reward is offered for Squirt’s safe return.

Anyone with information as to his whereabouts is urged to call (231) 582-2188 or reach Cain at his office at (231) 582-0377.

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