Twenty individuals and organisations contributed $10,000 to the Blue Iguana Reward Fund.
CrimeStoppers gave a $1,000 reward.
The $11,000 combined reward remains on offer for six months. It is for information about the attacks last month that left seven of the critically-endangered Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas dead. The endemic creatures were in an enclosed facility run by the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme inside the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.
The iguanas, five males and two pregnant females, were all in their pens when last checked on Saturday, 3 May. Volunteers going to feed them on Sunday morning, 4 May, unlocked the facility gate and found the iguanas either injured or already dead.
The brutality of the incident shocked people in Cayman and around the world. A reward fund was quickly suggested and the National Trust for the Cayman Islands became the coordinating agency because the Trust is the parent organisation for the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme.
CrimeStoppers is the agency to be contacted with information. All callers will remain anonymous and are eligible for the reward should their information lead to an arrest and conviction. The phone number is 800-8477, easily remembered as 800-TIPS.
Ms Caroline Key, development and marketing manager for the National Trust, became the person responsible for dealing with contributions and queries about the reward fund. She thanked everyone for their concern and generosity.
The largest contribution came from dms Organization Ltd., which is probably best known for its several radio stations, but which includes financial services and real estate.
dms not only gave extensive radio coverage to the Blue Iguana programme in the days after the incident but also pledged $5,000 toward a reward.
Mr. Don Seymour, president of dms Organization Ltd. subsequently delivered the cheque to top up the contributions of others and bring the reward fund to its total $10,000.
‘The outpouring of assistance from the community has been a comfort and a great support for the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme and demonstrates the community effort towards its success in bringing the Grand Cayman Blue Iguana back from the brink of extinction,’ Ms Key said. ‘dms were quick to jump in and contribute to the reward fund for the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme and we were extremely grateful for such an immediate response.’
Ms Key listed the contributors as:
McGladrey & Pullen
The Machine Shop
Hay Electric Ltd.
Mike’s Ice Ltd.
Red Sail Sports
If the reward money is not claimed, all donors have agreed that the funds may be given to the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, Ms Key said.
The National Trust for the Cayman Islands is a non-profit, statutory body with a mission: ‘To preserve natural environments and places of historic significance in the Cayman Islands for present and future generations.’ The Blue Iguana Recovery Programme is one of its core environmental programmes, set up in 1990 to save this unique creature from extinction by combining field research, captive breeding, public education, habitat protection and reintroduction.
One recent contributor to the programme was Mr. Ben Maxwell, host on dms Broadcasting’s 96.5 CAYROCK. He visited the iguana facility when supermodel Selita Ebanks and young businessman Luigi Moxam went there to choose the iguanas they were sponsoring. He was fascinated by what he saw and after a quick consultation with his wife handed over a cheque for $1,000.
He named his iguana ‘The Roman’.
Mr. Maxwell voiced the opinion of many people when he commented on the dms reward contribution. ‘Along with the rest of the local community, we are outraged by this despicable crime against these much-loved native animals. It is our mission to do our part to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and to deter any further crimes of this nature from ever occurring again,’ Mr. Maxwell said.
‘Along with the rest of the local community, we are outraged by this despicable crime against these much-loved native animals. It is our mission to do our part to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice and to deter any further crimes of this nature from ever occurring again.’