A Pretoria gardener got the fright of his life when a 1.2 metre long iguana appeared to fall out of the sky and land next to him, according to a report on Thursday.
January Mgidi (44) works in Wonderboom, in Pretoria north, not far from the Magaliesburg.
He told Beeld that when the iguana dropped out of nowhere on Monday, he ran to the neighbours.
The large lizard was thought to have fallen from a perch high up on a lamp.
The neighbours called the Pretoria zoo, which referred them to reptile expert Arno Naude.
"When I picked him up, he played dead initially. When he realised I wasn't going to let go, he started fighting," Naude said.
Veld iguanas are a protected species all over the world, but they are frequently killed for their skins, which are used to manufacture belts, handbags and watch bands.
"If you're holding [an iguana] and you're not bleeding, you're doing it wrong," Naude said.
The animal was in a weakened state, and would have to be fattened up and nursed back to health before being released into the bush, he said.