Today’s Editorial June 09: Death of Blues inexcusable

It’s bad enough that we have wild, feral dogs roaming the street and roadways of Grand Cayman.

Many of them are already a danger to walkers, runner, bicyclers and children.

Now our own endangered Blue Iguanas are becoming victims to these feral predators.

Stray dogs killed two Cayman Blue Iguanas at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park this week.

A pregnant female was mauled and park staffers are still looking for a missing fourth iguana.

Dogs are being blamed for the killings and the mauling.

While traps have been set for the canines, 26 other iguanas at the park’s preservation site are in danger.

It isn’t clear whether the dogs belong to anyone – they don’t have collars – but they didn’t act like they had any kind of training when they were observed by park employees.

If they’re caught, they’ll be put down.

And that’s a shame.

The finger of blame can be pointed in part at some of the two-legged animals that inhabit the largest land mass of the Cayman Islands.

Irresponsible pet owners who let their dogs roam at will are doing a disservice to their fellow man and the environment.

Dogs left to roam will join packs and those packs become a danger to everyone and now, it seems, everything, including our endangered Blues.

But as bad as the behaviour of irresponsible pet owners is, there is another action that is just as bad if not worse.

While the park staff works diligently to protect indigenous plant and wildlife, people are driving to the park area and dumping unwanted cats, kittens, dogs, puppies and green iguanas.

Green iguanas are just as much a danger to the Blues as grown cats and dogs.

It has to be assumed that the people dumping these animals either bought or adopted a cute kitten, puppy or baby iguana and soon tired of the responsibility of ownership or failed to have that animal spayed or neutered allowing it to have litters that had to be disposed of.

Maybe they think that taking the animals to the park is a humane thing to do; that park staff will welcome and nurture them.

They won’t.

It’s not their job.

It is the responsibility of pet owners to ensure their animals are spayed and neutered and kept safe at home.

If you’re thinking about adopting a cute kitten or puppy, do so only after a lot of soul searching.

Considers adoption of a pet a life-long commitment. Animals, like children, are not disposable.

To lose a national treasure like the Cayman Blue Iguana to the negligence of humans who let dogs roam wild is inexcusable.

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