Published On: Fri, May 23rd, 2014

Cruise passengers offended and horrified by cruelty against wild animals in Punda

Iguanaman

The island economy is winding down. Even on a cruise ship day it is very quiet in Punda. Most of the streets are empty and the occasional passerby remains rather unimpressed of the cheap stuff most of the shops have to offer which is mainly imported from India. Two fruit and vegetable sellers are ripping me almost apart as I intend to buy a water
melon, each of them want's to catch me as his customer. The melon I finally buy is overly ripe another day and the seller would have had to throw it away. I understand the slight force he used to catch the deal.

On a corner all of a sudden the guy holding two wild iguanas is standing in front of me again on the lookout for a customer. The iguanas struggle, they clearly want to escape their torture. But the guy is holding them firm and the one still strong enough is banging his tail against the guy's leg. By doing so the iguana signals the danger he is in. In a few days the two animals will be as weak as the other one's he abuses week after week for the single purpose of making money with the occasional ignorant tourist participating in this senseless cruelty.

“If this would be happening by us, the sheriff would arrest and charge him for inflicting severe and prolonged physical pain to animals. He would face up to ten years if found out that he is abusing them for financial gain!” An American next to me says loudly. His wife agrees by nodding her head. Lorna and Willy MacKenzie from the State of Maine are horrified by what they see. Another couple is stopping too. All four arrived by cruise ship finding Willemstad so far pleasant, but this scene horrifies them! And seemingly nobody around to confront the abuser. The locals are just walking by as they wouldn't even see these tortured wild animals. Two police officers on bikes are passing by. Lorna is waving her hand to get their attention, but too late, they overlooked us and the iguana man. It is most likely a familiar scene to them. “Well, it seems people over here don't care too much what is going on with wild animals! Isn't there any wildlife protection law on this island? I don't believe that any tourists want's to see something like this happening. These animals have no food and no water at all and are in an abused state. Besides this they guy is using them to work for him”, Willy says. “Why isn't he looking to find a job, that he doesn't have to torture these helpless creatures?” Lorna adds.

I promised them to get our conversation published in the hope of finding someone which puts an end to this continuous animal cruelty. This is in no way the picture of a developed and educated island! That's why I ask everyone for help to end this absolutely unnecessary torture of wild animals!

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