[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 25 September 2006, 19:02 GMT 20:02 UK
Iguana given shopping centre ban
Paul Hudson with his iguana
Paul Hudson says Ig would never bite anyone
A shopping centre has closed the doors on a 4ft long lizard, which was the regular companion of a Tyneside man.

Bosses at Gateshead's Metrocentre told Paul Hudson, 26, that health and safety concerns prevented him walking his pet iguana, called Ig.

Mr Hudson, from Gateshead, said he had taken Ig into the complex since 1998.

He said: "He is a nice animal. He could bite someone if he wanted to but he wouldn't. It's not in him, he's well looked after and likes his days out."

But officials and the shopping complex said they had to put the concerns of customers first.

A spokeswoman for the Metrocentre said: "We have to stick by our rules otherwise we would have to allow other people to bring their cats, dogs, hedgehogs or budgies with them.

"I am sorry, but the answer on this occasion is that we have to look after our customers first and have to say no to the iguana."

Baby iguana rescued from rooftop
19 Oct 05 |  Coventry/Warwickshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific