On July 29, 2010, workers at the Van Dye Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, North Carolina were surprised to see a small animal scuttle across the loading dock. They called the Sterling Heights Animal Control officers to catch the animal which turned out to be a foot long blue and gray Yucatan spiny-tailed iguana.
Not very remarkable you might think? But it was. Turns out, the Yucatan spiny-tailed iguana is found in one place and one place only: the Yucatan Peninsula.
So how did the little guy make it all the way to North Carolina? He stowed away in a shipment of auto parts made in Mexico and managed to survive the journey all the way to the Sterling Heights plant.
The Yucatan spiny-tailed iguana is one of the smallest species of iguana. This little guy, who now has a permanent home at the Detroit Zoo, has a five inch body and a 7 inch tail. He was put into quarantine upon his arrival at the zoo to make sure he doesn't have any illnesses that could be transmitted to other zoo animals. (His time in quarantine should be just about up.)
Once he is in his permanent home, he will be living with a female black iguana. But there won't be any sparks between the two since they are of two different species and the female is two to three times larger than the male.
To see a couple of awesome photos of the rare Yucatan spiny-tailed iguana check out this article in the Asheville, North Carolina Citizen-Times.