WICHITA, Kan. (KNSW) — The Riverside neighborhood came together for one of its own this week – a lost pet iguana.
Aurora Mangers, the owner of Charlez, a red iguana, says she realized he was lost after she and her uncle could not find him.
“We looked everywhere in the room, and then we checked the window and there was a hole perfectly fit for him,” said Mangers. “That’s kind of when we knew that he got out.”
Charlez had escaped through a second-story screened-in window.
A post on social media looking for the lost lizard quickly caught the attention of users.
“I posted it on the Riverside Facebook page, and I posted it on my personal page, and I posted it on Wichita lost and found pets,” said Aurora’s grandma Deb Harper, who the iguana stays with. “But Riverside gave a really good response, different people were commenting and were like, ‘Well, we’ll be watching for him and maybe you know you’ll see him on a different day or something.'”
“We just kept looking and I pretty much, after all those days, I’m like were just not gonna find him,” Mangers said.
Amy Stevens would spot Charlez nine days after his escape.
“I was driving home from work downtown and as I went over the bridge I saw it on the sidewalk/walkway. I was surprised to see it so I went around the roundabout to double-check what I saw. It was indeed an iguana so I took the photo of it,” said Stevens. “It was clearly someone’s pet so I shared it on the Riverside Facebook group in hopes someone would know who to contact. Within minutes the members had tagged the owner in the post and organized a rescue/capture mission.”
A rescue mission was quickly put into place after Charlez was spotted.
“Multiple people met us over there, there were at least four different people, or families, that came and kind of were helping look for him,” Harper said. “One of the ladies from Riverside brought us a fishing net, cause he kept jumping in the river.”
The situation turned into a water rescue mission when Mangers decided to get into the river.
“I was like, ‘You know what? I may as well just get in.’ …took my shoes off and then got in the water,” Mangers said. “I kind of swam out farther than he was because I didn’t want him going out farther … he kept like bopping under and going under … so, I put the net in front of him and got him while he was underwater.”
After being caught, Charlez was brought back home.
“I’m actually really happy that we found him,” said Mangers.
“He’s been pretty stressed, so we’ve just kind of left him alone in the room,” Harper said.
And if Charlez thinks about escaping again, Harper says, “Well, the windows not going to be open anymore.”
Harper says she is truly grateful for the Riverside community. She says, “I really think without Riversider’s help we wouldn’t haven’t ever found him.”
“I decided he’s now Prince Charlez of Riverside,” said Harper.