Six Blue Iguanas Murdered in Botanic ParkMay 4th, 2008 | By admin | Category: Blues in the Local Press
Six critically endangered Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas were killed by unknown persons late on Saturday evening, in the QE II Botanic Park. The crime was discovered by volunteers with the National Trust’s Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, shortly after 9am on Sunday morning.
The iguanas appeared to have massive internal injuries, as if they had been stamped on violently and repeatedly. Some were also cut and partially dismembered. Three were found dead inside their breeding pens, two had been carried out of their pens and left in the tour area outside. The body of the sixth is still missing, but entrails on the trail outside his pen are a grim sign of his fate.
Department of Environment enforcement officer Carl Edwards was on the scene almost immediately, fast followed by the Royal Cayman Islands Police who began forensic work and have commenced an investigation. Dr. Colin Wakelin from the Department of Agriculture closed a large gash in one of the surviving victims and began making arrangements for an autopsy to confirm the causes of death, which will probably take place later today.
Dead on Sunday morning were the adult breeding males “Yellow” (sponsored by Caribbean Publishers), “Pedro” (sponsored by Websters Tours), “Digger” (sponsored by Simon Hicks), and “Eldemire” (christened by Kent Eldemire). The grand matriarch of the captive facility, “Sara”, was also dead. “Jessica” had been thrown out of the neighboring pen and was in shock, but still moving. Both females had been preparing to lay eggs.
The effort to save Jessica’s life went on into the night, but despite specialist advice by telephone from the Wildlife Conservation Society and Dr. Wakelin’s resourceful and determined attempts to stabilize her, she passed away during the night.
The persons responsible may have broken into the Park after closing hours, and found a way into the fenced-in captive breeding facility. No motive is known for this act of extreme violence against these unique and much-loved symbols of Cayman’s natural heritage. Anyone with relevant information is asked to contact the
Royal Cayman Islands Police.
If you wish to donate to the Blue Iguana Program click on any image and you will be taken to the IRCF’s website. Simply select the Blue Iguana Program on the pull down tab on the donation page.
Your donations will greatly assist us with the added costs related to this recent tragedy.
For more information:
- National Trust for the Cayman Islands: Tel 345 916 2144, Email Carla Reid
- Department of Environment: Tel 345 949 8469: Email Gina Petrie or Dr. Mat Cottam
- Blue Iguana Recovery Programme: Tel 345 916 2418, Email Fred Burton
- Department of Agriculture: Tel 345 947 3090, Email Dr. Colin Wakelin