Owner's hopes fade for Floyd, escaped Ellicott City iguana Calls, sightings, Web page yield no solid leads

September 14, 1997|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

Standing on the roof of his home yesterday on a hill overlooking historic Ellicott City, 27-year-old Dana Cole scanned the forested landscape with binoculars and called out, "Floyd Floyd Floyd."

As if his 5-foot, 3-year-old iguana, missing since Thursday, would peep out of a treetop and answer the forlorn cries.

"I know, I feel kind of silly," said Cole as he stared at a steep embankment behind the house used by wily Floyd in his dash for freedom. "I swear, he would come to me when I called. I don't know what else to do.

"I don't know how you go about looking for an iguana," Cole said. "But I don't want to give up 'cause you know how you get that kind of sick feeling in your stomach?

"I just hope he's up in a tree somewhere," he said.

For Cole and his two roommates, it's been three days of trampling through thickets, passing out fliers and asking passers-by if anyone has seen a big, green lizard running around.

There's even a Web page for Floyd updates at www.endlesssummertours.com/iguana.

Those who keep telling Cole it's only a lizard just don't understand. He remembers when they first met. Floyd was 5 inches of green poking his tiny head out of a shirt pocket of Cole's girlfriend.

By yesterday afternoon, Cole was looking glum. There were plenty of well-wishers and even more false alarms, but still no signs of the lizard.

Five callers told Cole an iguana has been at the animal shelter for two weeks now. Two people said they spotted an iguana a half-mile away near the police station. A woman said she almost ran one down with her car.

Other callers promised to keep an eye trained on the trees because that's where common green iguanas like Floyd like to hang out and soak up the rays.

"Don't worry, I don't think I'll need to call you," said neighbor Sean Stafford. "You'll hear me scream."

Reading a flier yesterday, security guard Bo Norris marveled, "He's 5-foot? God dern. How big is his mouth? My wife told me about him last night. I thought I'd go hunt it, but I thought he might bite me on the leg or something."

Experts say Floyd is more likely to be injured by someone or something, than vice versa. Iguanas seldom attack humans unless provoked.

In the wild, iguanas are solitary, mostly herbivorous creatures that eat a variety of leaves, fruits and flowers, according to Reptile & Amphibian Magazine.

But time is running out. The longer Floyd roams, the greater the chance he will catch respiratory infections as the weather gets colder.

As for Cole, he promises a custom-made cage for Floyd upon his return.

"I'm hoping he's just happy out there," Cole says. "I hope everything's cool and everything's fine and maybe, just maybe, I can end his little vacation before anything bad happens."

Anyone with information can call 410-203-9479.

Pub Date: 9/14/97

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