Blues reward fund tops $7,000

Of the more than $10,000 pledged, the National Trust for the Cayman Islands has received $7,210 as of Monday morning to be used as a reward for information about the killings of seven Blue Iguanas at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park 3-4 May.

Along with the five male and two female blues who died, two other males were injured.

According to the Penal Code, whoever wilfully and unlawfully kills, maims or wounds any animal capable of being stolen is guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for five years. Other laws may also apply.

The National Trust is coordinating the reward fund, which reached the $7,100 mark on Friday afternoon. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-8477 (800-TIPS).

Fred Burton, director of the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, said the two surviving blues were being treated with a painkiller, antibiotic and other injections to counteract any developing infections and other possible consequences of internal injury.

The two, Billy and Archie, were under observation in a natural enclosure to minimise all stress.

Four blues were found dead inside the fenced-in facility at the park on Sunday morning, 4 May, after volunteers unlocked the gate. The body of a fifth iguana was not found, but his entrails were.

On Tuesday, the sixth iguana died of his injuries. That prompted even more concern for the remaining two. ‘Responding to the crisis, the wildlife Conservation Society dispatched specialist veterinarian Dr. Stephanie James to attend to these two large breeding males,’ Mr. Burton reported.

He thanked the Department of Agriculture and Cayman Islands Veterinary Board for extraordinary measures willingly taken so that Ms James could get to work as soon as she arrived on Thursday afternoon.

He said X-rays had already confirmed Billy had problems and Ms James confirmed that some of the types of injuries that had been fatal to the other iguanas might also be present in Billy and Archie. However, she commented, findings from the blood tests were not as disastrous as she had feared.

Ms. James was designing an ongoing treatment strategy.