Another iguana found injured

Another blue iguana has been found injured following the weekend attack that killed six of Cayman’s endangered animals at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.


Gathering evidence: Dr. Carolyn McKinnie and Dr. Colin Wakelin conduct the post-mortem examination observed by, Mr. Fred Burton. Photo: Carol Winker

Mr. Fred Burton, director of the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, said a male iguana named Matthias was sluggish and dragging his left front leg. Staff members are watching him and his condition will be discussed with Dr. Colin Wakelin to determine if Matthias should have X-rays.

Mr. Wakelin, who works with the Agricultural department, treated several of the iguanas found by volunteers at the fenced-in captive breeding facility on Sunday morning.

Senior Iguana Warden John Marotta provided an update on the conditions of three iguanas initially reported injured and reported on efforts to find the remains of Pedro, who is being counted as one of the six dead.

Billy, whose leg was stitched up by Mr. Wakelin, was more responsive by Tuesday morning. Archie, who was bruised, seemed to be coming along. Elwood, the female feared injured, seems fine as she apparently hid when intruders entered the area.

Mr. Marotta said he had walked the perimeter of the BIRP grounds looking for evidence of Pedro, but had found none. Iguana entrails were found outside Pedro’s pen on Sunday, but no body has been recovered. Mr. Marotta reported no scent and no visible sign of Pedro.

On Tuesday morning, Mr. Wakelin and Dr. Carolyn McKinnie of St. Matthew’s School of Veterinary Medicine began their examination of the dead iguanas.

The first iguana, Jessica, was found to be carrying seven eggs. Mr. Burton said she would have laid them in the next couple of weeks.

Results of the examination, referred to as a necropsy, were photographed and recorded. Police Constable Ronny Pollard, from the Scenes of Crime Unit, obtained a DNA sample and Ms McKinnie extracted blood samples.

PC Leonard Blake recorded observations and comments for the ongoing investigation.

Officer Carls Edwards, from the Department of Environment, assisted with measurements. Civilian scenes-of-crime investigator Zoë Marin also attended.

Meanwhile, individuals and companies were offering rewards for information leading to the arrest of whoever was responsible for the iguanas’ deaths and injuries.

Mainly for legal reasons, all rewards should be channelled through the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, the parent organisation for the iguana recovery programme.

‘We really appreciate everyone’s support,’ said Trust chairperson Carla Reid. Rewards will be coordinated in conjunction with Crime Stoppers, so that anyone with information can phone anonymously, she explained.

Mr. Burton received a pledge of $5,000 from dms Broadcasting when he took part in a programme aired by one of the company’s radio stations.

Mrs. Reid said callers to the Trust office had also offered reward money. By noon yesterday the total pledged, including from dms, was CI$10,800.

The money will be held for a specified length of time; if it is not paid out, the donor will have indicated what should be done with it.

The number for Crime Stoppers is 800-TIPS (800-8477).