‘Mr. Lizard’ in Saigon sells iguanas as a hobby

By Quynh Tran   October 22, 2018 | 03:10 pm GMT+7

On a 500 sq.m farm in Saigon, Duong Sieu Hoa breeds and sells iguanas as a hobby and a side-business.

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Hoa, 38, said he became interested in these huge lizards after noticing it as a popular trend in Europe.

Now, “the hobby of raising iguanas is getting more popular in Vietnam. I had my first pair of iguanas back in 2007 and began breeding them. I dug deeper to find out more information about establishing iguana farms and how to nurture them.”

Iguanas are raised in wire mesh cages, with each cage of about two square meters hosting 3-5 iguanas.

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The cage should be placed somewhere with lots of sunlight since these creatures prefer a dry and hot environment. To avoid two male iguanas fighting each other, each cage should only have one male, Hoa said.

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Hoa also logs at a certain height inside the cage, because iguanas do not like to be on the ground and feel that they are being preyed upon. There are many types of iguanas, but the two most popular ones are red and green.

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The iguanas are fed vegetables, pumpkin and fruit, and some specialized-food so that they get the nutrients they need.

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Iguanas lay about 40 eggs once a year but only 30 percent of them hatch. A baby iguana is around 20 centimeters long.

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These creatures grow quickly. A two-year old iguana can be five feet or 150 centimeters (from head to tail) long and weigh more than a dozen kilos. Males are longer and bigger than females. If properly cared for, a captive iguana can live for 15 to 20 years.

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Hoa holds a two-year-old red iguana that is on sale for VND100 million ($4,300).

He sells each new-born green iguana for about VND800,000 ($34.5) and the price doubles for newborn red iguanas. Prices for matured iguanas vary depending on size and shape.

"A beautiful iguana needs to have a big, rounded dewlap; bright colors...Such creatures are expensive. They can cost up to VND100 million," Hoa said.

Hoa said that he sells about 1,000 iguanas each year.

 
 
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