Iguana returned to reptile park after 'distressing' burglary

  • 12/04/2024
The green iguana.
The green iguana. Photo credit: NZ Police / Supplied

The iguana snatched from a reptile park in Wellsford has safely returned home.

The green iguana was taken, along with a 17-year-old leopard tortoise, from Ti Point Reptile Park north of Auckland between March 19 and 20.

Fears grew for their welfare, with suspicions the stolen animals would be sold illegally.

A breakthrough came last Friday when a Northland mum called the reptile park after someone gave her daughter a tortoise for her birthday.

The woman was "reluctant to say who had made the gift", police said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Police were called and worked with DoC for the handover of the tortoise in Kaitaia's main street."

Now, Warkworth Sergeant Dan McDermott says the iguana has also been safely returned.

"Police have received a number of calls from the public and are following positive lines of enquiry to locate the animal thieve/s," Sgt McDermott said in a statement on Friday.

He added this was a "distressing incident" for both the reptiles and their carers.

Police ask anyone who knows who stole the tortoise and the iguana to contact them.

"If you have any information which may assist in our investigation not yet reported to police please contact us on 105 and quote file 240320/8108," Sgt McDermott said.

"No piece of information is too small and will ensure police can hold those involved to account."