Is a Cake-Stealing Iguana on Anyone’s Bingo Card? Anyone?

Geza Farkas /
Geza Farkas /

It’s been a weird couple of years, that’s for sure. There were all sorts of weird things happening in 2020 due to the pandemic. But even as COVID has faded into the background, the weirdness continues.

A girl from California was visiting Costa Rica with her family. The girl, Lena, who was three at the time, stopped for a snack near the water with her parents. She was enjoying a bite of cake when the unthinkable happened.

An iguana ran up, bit her finger, and stole the cake.

Now, Lena is battling a rare bacterial infection that she was left with as a result of the cake-stealing iguana’s actions.

The bite was treated with disinfectant at a local medical clinic and she was given a round of antibiotics. At first, it looked like it was healing. However, several months later, a lump appeared on the back of Lena’s hand. That lump grew and changed colors.

After a few consultations with medical professionals, it was discovered that Lena had Mycobacterium marinum, a rare bacterial infection.

Dr. Jordan Mah explained, “Typically, with these infections, because they take a very long time to grow and they’re a little bit more fastidious, you need to treat them for a longer period of time, sometimes several months.” He also went on to say that it’s likely the first time a human has contracted this infection from an iguana bite.

Lena has gone through surgery and is on the mend.

If you’re eating cake on the beach, be wary of iguanas. Not only can they steal you’re cake but their bites can end up leading to rare infections.