PAINESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — An iguana injured when a man pulled the lizard from under his shirt and threw it at an Ohio restaurant manager remains in protective custody at a humane society that is awaiting court permission to provide medical treatment.
The turquoise female iguana that police named “Copper” has a broken leg, metabolic bone disease and other ailments, Lake County Humane Society officials told WEWS-TV. The animal needs surgery that will cost about $1,600, but that can’t happen until a judge gives approval because the Humane Society is not its owner, society intake coordinator Allison Rothlisberger said Saturday.
The Humane Society is seeking tax-deductible donations to pay for the surgery. Copper is receiving basic care for now to make the lizard as comfortable as possible, Rothlisberger said.
The iguana’s 49-year-old owner has been charged with cruelty to animals and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanor charges.
According to authorities, the man threw a menu at a waitress at a Perkins Restaurant in Painesville on April 16. When a manager intervened, the man removed the iguana from beneath his shirt, twirled it around and threw it at him, police said. Authorities haven’t said what provoked the attack.
Painesville is roughly 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of downtown Cleveland.