Police said they stopped three men carrying a suspicious bag in Tortuguero Wednesday. Officers quickly found that the bag contained three iguana.
The officers concluded that the men were preparing to turn the lizards into dinner. But that is against the law in Costa Rica where taking creatures from the wild is prohibited.
The Fuerza Pública officers delivered the iguanas to local representatives of the Ministerio de Ambiente, Energía y Mares for reintroduction into the nearby national park.
And the three men are going to court.
The prohibition against eating iguana is not universal. In fact, the Internet is filled with iguana recipes ranging from soup to stew to a roast to a curry dish. Iguana eggs also are sought.
Florida newspapers have published news stories encouraging the hunting and eating of the creatures because of overpopulation and their harvesting would solve the hunger problem. They were not joking.
The critters are fair game in other Latin and Caribbean countries. Their fans say the meat tastes like chicken. In fact, scientists say the chicken and other birds are descendants of the dinosaurs.
So chicken salad really is lizard salad.