A woman on the West side of the Hawaiian island of Oahu found one of the most popular pet lizards in the reptile hobby outside her house last week, but the problem is Bearded Dragons and most other popular pet reptiles are illegal to keep in the state.
The woman originally thought the lizard, commonly known as a “beardie,” was an Iguana. But after quarantine inspectors with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA) came to retrieve the animal, they told her it was a Bearded Dragon, according to KHON2.
The lizard was pretty big, measuring about 12 inches from snout to vent, and in Wai’anae where it was found, it could’ve survived because it is a hot and arid part of the island, ideal conditions for this reptile. The Bearded Dragon is native to Australia and is widely regarded in the hobby as a personable and engaging pet reptile.
Hawaii has strict laws when it comes to reptiles. It is illegal to keep most reptiles that are common in the reptile hobby, such as Bearded Dragons. Penalties for keeping illegal pets are stiff, with fines of up to $200,000 and up to three years in jail. The state does offer an amnesty program where folks with illegal animals can turn them in.