Digging His Free Ride from Florida to Buffalo,
STEFON DIGGUANA Touches Down at the SPCA Serving Erie County

October 28, 2022
By:  SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Lattuca

UPDATE, November 4 — Stefon Digguana officially has a Buffalo home! He’s the newest member of the family at Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics! New dad and Nickel City Reptiles and Exotics Owner Jeff Musial says on Facebook that Stefon has found his “forever home!” Those are our favorite words! Thanks, Jeff, and Stefon, we’ll miss you but we know you’ll love watching many years’ worth of Buffalo Bills games with the Nickel City crew! Full story below!

Getting on the field at Highmark Stadium can be tricky, but one iguana found a way to score.

This week, an unmarked NBC Sunday Night Football “follow truck” carrying broadcast equipment made its way from Florida to Buffalo in preparation for the Buffalo Bills’ game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday evening.

According to Diana Solomon, production coordinator at NBC Sports, “Our driver, Christian, was unloading the truck this afternoon, bringing boxes and other items to the [Highmark Stadium] field. As he lifted wires and cables out of one of the boxes, there underneath everything, at the bottom of the box, was this iguana!”

Solomon said the iguana was very still, and they weren’t sure if he was alive.

“We placed the iguana in a clear, plastic container, put hand warmers on him, and wrapped him up in towels,” Solomon added. “It wasn’t long before he ’woke up’ and started to move.”

At that point, unsure what to do with the lizard, Solomon contacted the Wildlife Department at the SPCA Serving Erie County.

“The iguana appears to be quite young, and he’s obviously wild, invasive to the Florida region,” says SPCA Wildlife Director Barbara Haney. “That limits our ability to send him back. He appears to be malnourished and dehydrated, so we’ll set him up here in a cage and hopefully he’ll relax, eat, and drink. Then he’ll see a local exotics veterinarian on Tuesday.”

Why are green iguanas illegal in Florida? >>

If cleared medically, wildlife representatives at the SPCA are hoping to place him with a reptile rescue/organization. If one cannot be located, the SPCA will attempt to find an experienced iguana owner who would be comfortable working with a young iguana not yet used to being handled. “Placement with a proper rescue or reptile center would be ideal, but if we cannot locate one that will accept him, it will be important to find an experienced someone,” Haney said. “Due to the special circumstances surrounding this reptile, the fact that he was wild-bred, and his acquisition, the best chance of a successful outcome will be with a patient handler who knows how to work with this iguana and provide the best life possible for him.”

The iguana’s new name? Courtesy of SPCA Animal Care Manager Leigh Ann Abbey, the iguana is now called STEFON DIGGUANA, after Buffalo Bills Wide Receiver Stefon Diggs!

Experienced iguana owners who may be interested in giving Stefon Digguana a new home can email the SPCA at…what else…Digguana@yourspca.org!

UPDATE, October 29 — Watching the game tomorrow night? Look for an appearance by the newest and most attractive social media darling, the one and only Stefon Digguana! NBC Sports representatives were at the SPCA Serving Erie County, NY this afternoon filming Stefon for his close-up! As you see, Stefon posed nicely for the camera!

See this story on NBC’s WGRZ-TV >>

See this story on Newsradio 930 WBEN >>