If you’ve been hankering for a good iguana burger lately, you’re in luck. Puerto Rico just got the green light to eradicate its 4 million-strong green iguana infestation by slaughtering the lot of them and selling the meat in the U.S.
“There are more lizards than humans there,” says Marketplace.org’s David Gura. “There aren’t many natural predators in Puerto Rico.”
Daniel Galan Kercad, secretary of natural resources for the U.S. territory, told the AP he’s already gotten permission to start collecting volunteers to fetch the reptiles for harvesting.
Like other invasive species like Kudzu and Asian Carp, which have been plaguing finicky gardeners and fishermen for decades, areas overrun by iguanas pose a risk to both man and nature.
The scaly critters eat shrubbery and reproduce faster than wildlife agencies can keep up with their growing ranks. They’re causing such a fuss in Florida that the state reportedly hired a man to drive around in a golf cart and shoot each one that crossed his path.
Puerto Rico spends $80,000 a year exterminating iguanas at the airport, as they have a tendency to wander onto the runway and halt plane landings, according to the Grist.
Rare meats have been making something of a comeback in the U.S. A few months ago, the U.S. lifted the ban on horse meat sales.
So, how much would it cost to put iguana on your dinner menu for the week?
According to Gala, the pricey meat can fetch up to $6 per pound.