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Mike Lindskog, announcer of Springfield Cardinals games for Jock 98.7 FM, and Bandito.If you’re allergic to dog and cat hair, what’s the next best pet option? For Mike Lindskog, Springfield Cardinals announcer, it was a pet iguana. About 11 years ago in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where Lindskog was working, a pet shop had a sign in the window: “Iguanas $14.95.” 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 corrected—although the name remained the same. “I figured the name change would be hard for her with the kids teasing her at school,” he jokes.
She loves to eat about anything, but Lindskog says her favorite treat is macaroni and cheese. Occasionally she’ll be in the announcer’s booth during games. She sports a Cardinals shirt (from Build a Bear) and hangs out on her favorite pillow.
“People ask, ‘What does she do?’” Lindskog says. “Well, you’re looking at it.” 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 he’s on the road, Lindskog’s interns go to the house to take care of Bandito and TuRock, a gecko. “It’s definitely red-headed stepchild central,” Lindskog says of his favoritism for Bandito.