On Wednesday, January 12th, teachers from Santa Monica High School who were going into their classrooms in the morning around 6:00 am were surprised to find iguanas and meal-worms in the Innovation building on the 2nd & 3rd floors, there were 4 iguanas on each floor, 2 were placed into 2 classrooms on each floor and meal-worms were all over the place on the 3rd floor. The iguanas and worms were placed through open windows located outside of the classrooms above lockers in the hallways, these creatures were brutally dropped without hesitation into the classrooms and it's believed that there were multiple people due to the elevated and hard to reach windows. 4 more iguanas and worms were place in the security office and the college center, 2 in each room. A total of 10 iguanas were on campus and removed by the Santa Monica Police Department animal control division. Students and teachers believed that it was a senior prank but thought it was too early and too cruel for it to be a senior prank. It's also believed that the subjects jumped over onto the campus while the gates were closed overnight after 11:00 pm when there's nobody on campus.
Teachers that we spoke to stated that they were sweeping all morning to remove the worms from their classrooms which look like maggots, they also stated that janitors were also helping in removing the worms to ensure the school campus was cleaned and ready for instruction as scheduled that morning. They also said that they had to use bins and tubs inside of their classrooms to put the iguanas in until someone arrived to get the iguanas.
At approximately 8:30 am the Santa Monica Police Department's Animal Control Unit responded to Santa Monica High School to get rid of the Iguanas inside of multiple classrooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the innovation building as well as another unknown classroom on campus. School officials and security met with the 2 animal control officers in the Innovation Quad. It's unknown how long that animal control was on campus to remove the iguanas but at least 6 were removed from the campus.
A statement from school officials stated that vandalism took place during the evening hours on campus. "The security office, the college center, and the innovation building were filled with worms and iguanas, 10 iguanas were found in total on campus. Our amazing innovation teacher jumped into action to sweep up and capture the reptiles. Please keep your ear to the ground for any information about this incident."
A spokesperson for the Santa Monica Police Department stated to us in a press release sent to us that "The iguanas are being held at our Animal Shelter. If an owner claims them they will be released to him/her. If not, they will be held for a period of time then go through the adoption process. At this time, we are unaware where they came from."
A spokesperson for the Santa Monica Malibu School District stated to us in a press release sent to us that the "Santa Monica HS was vandalized on Tuesday night and several indoor spaces had meal-worms strewn about, along with 10 iguanas that were loose. All 10 iguanas were located and in good health and turned over to animal services where they will be cared for until their original home is located or they will be rehomed. This vandalism was reported to Santa Monica Police Department. We are very disappointed that someone or a group of people would do this to a school, not only for the disruption and the mess it caused but also for jeopardizing the health of living animals. We are cooperating with SMPD in the investigation to identify the vandal or vandals."