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Captured on Camera: Man Rescues Iguana Swimming in Ocean Miles from Shore

By Holly Kellum

A man paddling in the Florida Keys captured the moment he rescued a stranded iguana swimming about four miles from shore.

The man, whose Youtube account says is named Steve, was coming back from an off-shore trip when he noticed something floating in the distance.

“All I could see were the multiple fins running down its back so I thought it was some sort of palm frond, but it just didn’t look right,” he wrote in the description of the Youtube video. “I ended up stopping and noticed that it started swimming.”

The reptile swam up to Steve’s motorized kayak and at first didn’t look like he was going to make it on.

Steve offered him a paddle, and the iguana accepted his help.

“It was pretty cool see it trust me enough (versus dying of course) to swim toward the kayak and hop on,” he wrote.

He put him in the back of the kayak on the lid of a cooler and prepared for takeoff.

“OK, get seatbelted in because we’re gonna go flying,” he tells it. “Don’t panic and jump off. I’ll leave ya.”

The next shot is of them cruising along with Steve in the foreground and the iguana on the cooler in back.

“Doing OK back there?” he asks it. “Hold on.”

As he nears some mangroves on shore, he asks it if it looks familiar.

Apparently it did, because right after he says that, the iguana edges to the back of the cooler, slips off the boat and swims ashore.

The last shot shows the iguana on a mangrove branch.

“It was pretty crazy seeing this guy so far out,” Steve wrote. ”I have seen plenty swimming around the islands, but never one that far out.”

“Most likely, because of the King tides that are occurring it got caught in one of the swift outgoing tides and got pushed out to sea.”

“But you never know and it could be it’s normal daily swim back and forth between Cuba and the US.”

Steve’s video, which is posted to his Youtube account “Key West Kayak Fishing,” has been viewed over a million times since it was posted Oct. 18.

 
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