Iguana cull warning as stray shot hits home

The window of Paul Young's home was hit by a stray bullet.

The window of a Grand Cayman home was shattered by a stray shot, believed to be from a green iguana cull team, prompting a new safety warning over the ongoing cull.

Police issued a reminder of the rules and regulations to all cullers using air rifles to hunt the invasive species following the incident last week.

Real estate broker Paul Young told the Cayman Compass he heard shots when he was sitting outside one late afternoon and later found the damage to his balcony window. Green iguana cullers were working in a nearby canalside community off the North Sound.

Young said he was concerned that someone could have been hurt.

He said he had reported the incident to the police, the Department of Environment and the iguana cull manager. He said the police officers who visited the scene had indicated the damage was likely from a rifle shot.

“I guess the iguanas are getting harder to find and they are coming closer to residential areas, but my concern is that someone could be hit,” he said.

“If this stray shot had hit one of the family members or one of my dogs, it would have been a very different story. We need to get on top of this quickly.”

Police and the Department of Environment issued a reminder to registered cullers and the public highlighting the requirements and responsibilities of cullers following the incident.

It stated that all iguana cullers who are using firearms are required to place signs prominently in the area where they will be discharging the firearm. They are also required to wear a high-visibility vest identifying them as an iguana culler.

The statement added, “Any culler using an air rifle must have a valid firearms license issued by the RCIPS. Simply having a culling licence does not automatically entitle you to use an air rifle.”

All iguana cullers must secure permission from property owners before entering onto any private property to conduct a cull, whether or not they are using an air rifle, officials said.

The RCIPS and DoE are also encouraging members of the public to contact the police if they witness any culler who is in breach of these requirements.

Licensed cullers have killed more than 900,000 green iguanas since the cull began in October last year.