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Mike Lindskog, announcer of Springfield Cardinals games for Jock 98.7 FM, and Bandito.
If youâ€™re allergic to dog and cat hair, whatâ€™s the next best pet option? For Mike Lindskog, Springfield Cardinals announcer, it was a pet iguana. About 11 years ago in Coeur dâ€™Alene, Idaho, where Lindskog was working, a pet shop had a sign in the window: â€œIguanas $14.95.â€ At the time, Bandito was the size of a magic marker. Today, the iguana weighs in at 5 pounds.
For two years, Lindskog thought Bandito was a male, hence the masculine name. However, iguanas have the ability to make and lay unfertilized eggs, and when she did that, the misperception was correctedâ€”although the name remained the same. â€œI figured the name change would be hard for her with the kids teasing her at school,â€ he jokes.
She loves to eat about anything, but Lindskog says her favorite treat is macaroni and cheese. Occasionally sheâ€™ll be in the announcerâ€™s booth during games. She sports a Cardinals shirt (from Build a Bear) and hangs out on her favorite pillow.
â€œPeople ask, â€˜What does she do?â€™â€ Lindskog says. â€œWell, youâ€™re looking at it.â€ A pretty mellow pet, Bandito has a 6-by-6 oak and glass cage, but Lindskog and his wife, Christy, sometimes let her out to roam the house. Through a pet door, she can access the yard area and graze. When heâ€™s on the road, Lindskogâ€™s interns go to the house to take care of Bandito and TuRock, a gecko. â€œItâ€™s definitely red-headed stepchild central,â€ Lindskog says of his favoritism for Bandito.
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