Published On: Wed, Mar 26th, 2014

Leave the iguanas alone

green-iguanasWILLEMSTAD - Green iguanas are among the largest lizards on the island of Curacao, averaging around 4 feet long and weighing about 11 pounds (5 kilograms).

There is no doubt that the iguana (yuana) is the king of Curaçao reptiles. Although its impressive dragon-like dorsal crest gives iggy a ferocious look, the animal is, in fact, quite shy. Because of its rare double penis the meat and eggs are coveted as supposedly powerful aphrodisiacs. Although iguanas are land animals they are excellent swimmers and can hold their breath underwater for as long as five minutes. The young are bright green; adults can change color from green to grey, blending in easily with the underbrush and rocky outcroppings. Curaçao is the first place in the world to successfully breed them in captivity.

They are also among the most popular reptile pets in the United States, despite being quite difficult to care for properly. In fact, most captive iguanas die within the first year, and many are either turned loose by their owners or given to reptile rescue groups. I do believe they belong in the nature and should be left alone.

By: Ken Croes

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