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Feuerwehr Wien

Iguana stopped at 16th floor by firemen with nets

Neighbours of a man whose pet iguana made a break for it came face to face with the lizard creature when it scampered up to the 16th floor - on the outside of the building.

The owner of the runaway iguana had left the window open in his flat in the block in Vienna to get some fresh air. At the same time he let the pet iguana out of its cage as he often did to let it get some exercise.

But he forgot about the animal's remarkable abilities to climb walls, and was helpless to follow when it scampered out of the window and disappeared down to the fifth floor before turning round and heading back up to the 16th.

Because the man had not registered the animal and was therefore keeping it illegally he did not want to call police but firemen were called anyway when the lizard was spotted by neighbours.

One neighbour said: "It seemed to be able to walk up the wall like it had glue on its feet. It was moving around to make sure he got the best place to catch the sun from what I could see."

After getting access to several flats around where the iguana had settled firemen were able to use large nets to snare the lizard that was far from happy at being back in captivity and tried to attack its rescuers.

Because it was unregistered it has been handed over to city animal welfare officers who will decide what to do with it.

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