Leapin’ lizard: 80-pound iguana found in freezer of Florida pizza restaurant

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Pepperoni, cheese and sausage -- but hold the iguana.

A South Florida pizza restaurant was forced to close for a day last week after state inspectors found a dead, 80-pound iguana stashed in its freezer, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

Pizza Mambo in West Palm Beach was closed down Thursday by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which also uncovered 27 violations, including 10 high-priority offenses, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Inspectors found more than 20 “rodent droppings” under a dry storage shelf and dead roaches throughout the restaurant, including one on a paper towel dispenser next to a sink, the newspaper reported.

The owner of Pizza Mambo could not be reached for comment, but an employee told the Sun-Sentinel it was given to the owner as a personal gift. The large lizard was stored in a separate mini-freezer away from the restaurant’s food, the employee told the newspaper.

The iguana was thrown away after the owners were told it was a violation, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Iguanas, which have run rampant in South Florida, are considered a delicacy but some food-lovers. In the Caribbean, the reptiles are known as “pollo de los árboles,” or chicken of the trees, according to the Sun-Sentinel.