Neighbors know not to say his name, lest they face the consequences. He's fiercely protective of his territory, and anyone who steps on his turf should expect to get whacked. He can be identified by the bandanna worn around his neck, and his long, striped, green tail. He's Iguana Bandannicus, the bandannaed iguana, and he stalks Miami's streets.
On Thursday afternoon, former New Times staffer Arielle Castillo informed an eager audience on Twitter of the first sighting of Iguana Bandannicus, at her friend's Airbnb near Melreese Country Club. The outlaw lizard purportedly leapt out at the man from over a fence to assert its dominance before being called away by one of its compatriots.
Castillo says the witness could not understand the iguana's handler because she spoke Spanish, betraying the creature's possible Latino background.
...I... I just got a call from one of my two social pod friends in Miami that they were attacked by a giant iguana.... wearing a bandana... that ran away when it was called by a woman next door in medical scrubs...— Arielle Castillo (@ariellec) December 17, 2020
New Times dispatched its resident cryptid hunter to attempt to track the creature after news of its existence reached the public. The Airbnb where it was spotted was empty, save for a child's bike near the front entrance. No one answered after several knocks on either of the two doors. Had the monster scared off the inhabitants?
Several residents were present at the house from which the iguana is said to have leapt, but none knew anything about the creature. When asked if they knew of an iguana living on the premises, they said they weren't aware of any. Mention of a bandanna didn't seem to surprise them or prompt any questions. Maybe they were covering for him.
Spotting a passing mail carrier, New Times asked whether the brave public servant had seen a creature matching the rogue iguana's description. He said many iguanas lived around the nearby canal, but none that he'd seen sporting a bandanna. A master of deception, Bandannicus, able to hide in plain sight among its brethren.
So many questions remain. Does Bandannicus lead a motorcycle gang? Does he wear the bandanna to protect him from freezing on cold Miami nights, or did he steal one from a recently groomed dog? Will he apply for Miami's opening for a new police chief, given that he apparently understands Spanish better than most of the current applicants?
Editor's note: Please report sightings of Bandannicus to email@example.com. Pix or it didn't happen.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.