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Miami Beach commissioner says iguana bounties would help slow their population growth

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Residents of Miami Beach claim that the iguana population has been growing at an exponential rate over the last several years, despite the fact that these animals are invasive and destructive.

“Something more needs to be done,” said resident Barbara Benis. She said that she had to re-build her sea wall because iguanas had destroyed it.

A video that was taken a few days ago shows a city-employed iguana hunter capturing the scaly animals after they had been shot by him. After a meeting on Wednesday, city officials decided to look into more options and increase the budget for removing the iguanas by a factor of four.

The budget for the eradication of iguanas, which was $50,000 the year before, has been increased to $200,000, according to Mayor Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, who provided this information over the phone. He wants to address the issue on both privately and publicly owned assets.

Kristen Rosen Gonzalez Gonzalez, who is the commissioner, came up with the idea of offering a reward for catching the reptiles.

“I don’t know – dead or alive. But if we pay per iguana we’re going to get more iguanas,” she said. “People are going to go out and hunt them for money. I think that’s a better use of our money.”

Gelber believed that a reward program might be successful so long as it followed the law and was effective.

In addition to putting out a call for competitive bids for moving services, an ad hoc committee will be set up to look into the best ways of doing things that are already in place.

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