Correction: the reference to Indian Hills should be to Indian Spring. Thank you.
Editor’s Special Report:
July 21, 2021
This special report is entitled, “Iguana Kill a Golfer”
[translation: I’m going to kill a golfer]
We bring you this special report on an issue of an emergency nature.
On July 14, 2021, the Board approved an addendum to the iguana killing contract to allow the employees to go onto the berm behind Grove Ridge Lane and Landon Circle and kill them there, presumably so that they don’t come onto HOA property and go into HOA lakes.
Instead, on Tuesday, July 20, 2021, your Editor and Roving Reporter, who live on the berm side of Landon Circle, witnessed the iguana company employee stand on the edge of the berm, turn his back on our community, and instead directly face Indian Hills golf course, aim, and shoot.
That afternoon, we immediately sent the following letter to the Board and the property manager:
Re: Iguana Control Addendum: You are allowing shooting at golfers in the Indian Hills Community!
Ladies and Gentlemen:
You recently approved an addendum to the iguana contract to have the company go onto the berm to kill iguanas. Wasn’t your iguana control killer supposed to shoot them on our side of the berm, so that the iguanas don’t enter our community and our lakes? Instead, today, July 20, 2021, we witnessed the employee stand at the edge of the berm on our side, shoot them from our side of the berm, aim his gun to the area on the other side of the canal, and at the iguanas gathered on the Indian Hills’ side of the canal, and shoot them, or at least pull the trigger in that direction.
So, you’re paying for a guy to shoot iguanas to prevent them from entering onto Indian Hills property. Therefore, if you thought your addendum to the iguana contract was to kill them on our side of the berm, you are apparently mistaken because we witnessed the opposite: the employee using our side of the berm to kill them on the Indian Hills side of the berm across the canal.
In fact, there really is not a berm on the Indian Hills side of the canal. There are bushes and trees, and then there is the Indian Hills golf course where there are golfers golfing directly behind the area where the employee was shooting. Can you imagine the liability if one of his pellets hit one of those golfers? We can actually see the golfers from our patio directly across the berm through the trees, we can hear their discussions, and we can see them swing. This is the exact area where we witnessed this employee aim and shoot his gun. We heard the “pops” of his gun. One of those can take out an eye.
Also, he shot in the direction of the iguanas on the other side of the canal and claimed that he shoots them dead and that they drop into the canal and sink. Then he moved down the berm and repeated the process. We heard him shoot in that direction, and we saw him shoot in that direction, however we heard no splash to indicate they had fallen into the canal as he claimed. We have often heard them splash when they jump into the canal on any given day, so we know what it should sound like.
A couple of weeks ago, Arthur was walking back from my parents’ house on Grove Ridge Lane using the canal berm behind their house and towards our house on the same berm on Landon Circle. As he walked, some iguanas heard him, got scared, and hurriedly ran toward the canal and literally leaped into the canal water to avoid him. Shortly thereafter, Arthur heard a huge splash and witnessed a large 6-to-seven-foot alligator go after one and eat it. The allegator then returned to the Indian Hills side of the canal and waited for his next meal.
There is no evidence the iguana control employee shot them or that he shot them dead. Perhaps he hit his target; perhaps he injured them. This is cruel and inhumane, and definitely not what the law intended when it authorized a “shoot to kill.” In fact, the law specifically requires the kill to be humane. What we saw was the opposite of humane whereby he shot them but there is no evidence as to what their fate was.
There is no way that this employee has sniper-level capabilities. We understood that he was supposed to shoot the iguanas on our side of the berm, ensure that they were dead, and then dispose of them properly, often by selling them for food, which at least gives some meaning to their life and helps feed others in the food chain. Instead, the animal is likely injured, dies slowly, and its carcass is left to rot either on the opposite bank or perhaps it falls into the canal and rots there. And that assumes his pellet makes contact with an actual iguana as opposed to a golfer.
We cannot imagine that this is what you contemplated when you granted permission for Blue Iguana to kill them on the berm. What we witnessed was extreme cruelty aimed at creatures on the Indian Hills side of the berm. There was no effort to determine their fate after they were shot if in fact his aim was successful. The employee just continued to walk down the length of the berm looking for more targets to repeat the same process. And shooting in the direction of the golf course is a major lawsuit waiting to happen if one of those pellets hits a golfer.
We urge you to revisit the addendum you just agreed to. No one provided me (the contract expert in the Legal Advisory Group) with a copy of it prior to the Board vote (or at any time) so I could not advise you of the obvious lack of guidelines contained therein based on what we witnessed. In fact, no contracts have been provided to me since I reviewed the first draft only of the road resurfacing proposal.
It is incumbent upon you to rectify this situation immediately, because the HOA should not be subsidizing the iguana control of Indian Hills, the HOA should not be a party to a kill manner that potentially violates Florida’s laws on humane killings, and the HOA should not be a potential defendant in a lawsuit if and when one of those pellets hits a golfer on the other side of the trees.
Some of your board decisions, such as this one, are becoming extremely short-sighted. They are not well thought out and it seems as if you’re in a hurry to make decisions without thinking through the potential consequences. There appears to be no long-term strategy, there appears to be knee-jerk reactions, and there appears to be a lack of patience to hear and understand all aspects of a particular issue before cutting off discussion and calling for a vote.
This particular iguana killing issue is potentially an emergency due to the fact that the iguana company’s employee is aiming and shooting directly at the golfers apparently every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.
Vicki Roberts and Arthur Andelson
Needless to say, aiming and then shooting in the exact direction of the Indian Hills golfers is seriously unacceptable.
And of course, we specifically did not challenge the employee on the berm: you never want to challenge someone who is standing 15 feet from you with a gun in his hand.
As for the Board, hastily agreeing to an Addendum to the iguana contract without carefully reviewing the terms is extremely troublesome, and this is not the first time that the Board or some members of the Board have taken actions that have been very detrimental to the community (and now potentially lethal to the neighboring community).
We urge you to contact your Board members and have them immediately instruct the iguana company to cease operations on the berm until further notice. One of your golfing buddies on the other side of the canal would very much appreciate it.