By Ryan Hill

NEWCASTLE (CBS13) — The search is on for two iguanas, Siracha and Squiggy, that were stolen from an animal sanctuary in Newcastle. Now the owner is left wondering why someone would want to take the reptiles from their property.

Parrots, ostriches and tortoises are just some of the animals roaming around The Enchanted Forest Exotic Animal Sanctuary just outside of Auburn. The owner said most of the animals are coming to the sanctuary following the California wildfires or their owners have died due to complications from COVID-19. But two colorful characters are missing.

“We have Siracha, our red iguana, and Squiggy, our aqua iguana, had been stolen out of the cage,” owner Melyssa Descovich said.

Descovich was planning on heading to the sanctuary on Monday to do an adoption for a box turtle. She got a call from a neighbor that her peacock Penelope had come over their house and went get her on the way. When she picked up the pet bird, that’s when things started to seem odd.

“She immediately made a bunch of noise and fluffed up and alerted. I went to follow her to videotape because it was kind of cute. And to my surprise, she led me right to where Mushu, our rhinoceros iguana, was sitting,” Descovich said.

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When looking back on the situation, the owner also said it also felt like the peacock went to the neighbor’s home to warn them that someone was on the property that shouldn’t be there.

Following Penelope’s alert and catching Mushu, Descovich checked the iguana cage, discovering it had been broken into and Siracha and Squiggy where gone.

“I was shocked to see that someone had waited until nobody was on the property to sneak in and break in and take two of our little iguanas,” Descovich said.

Little iguanas that are precious to everyone involved with the sanctuary.

“I’m furious that somebody would come in here. But my husband said he’s not surprised. People do that,” Rosalie Gau, who owns the property where the animal sanctuary is located, said.

That still isn’t stopping the owner of this animal sanctuary from caring for animals coming near and far to here. She is hoping and waiting for that a reptile return is in the cards for them.

“I want the two iguanas to be back safely where they belong, where families can enjoy them,” Descovich said.

Descovich said she was hoping the animals would be returned within 24 hours anonymously or in-person, but she’s now plans on filing a police report.

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