Drive safely in habitat

On the Southside of Cayman Brac shortly after you drive off the Bluff going west, there is a sign that says Iguana Habitat – Drive Carefully’

To many it’s just another useless sign that just sits there, but to the Parchman family that lives just inside that habitat, it represents their growing animal family.

The little girls, Lucy, age 5, and Sasha, age 4, get up each day and grab a head of lettuce and some watermelon from the fridge and set out to feed their pets with their parents or aunt. Boss Lady – an older female; Boss Man – an older male; Little Bit – a small male and Small Man – a small male; all of these are the endangered Brac Rock Iguanas.

They watch out for them and make sure they have enough to eat, drink and some shade to stay cool under. As they go for drives on the Southside they are always on the lookout for the other iguanas along the way.

Earlier in July when Mr. Matt Goetz of the Durrell Wildlife Reserve came by to see their iguanas, they were right there watching him capture them to take blood samples and pictures, being proud pet owners of these beautiful wild animals.

The road on the Southside is now a very high traffic area during the daylight hours and it seems that the 40 mile an hour sign that the Traffic Department has posted all over the place is like the Iguana Habitat sign – useless, it seems. People speed by without a care in the world for any one else on the road much less the iguanas that call this place home.

I implore all drivers on Cayman Brac to please be careful as you drive on the Southside road, not only for your safety but for the safety of these beautiful defenceless animals.

On Thursday, 31 July, shortly after 4pm we noticed that one of our babies (Small Man) was not around the yard, for his usual supper feeding and upon taking a walk to the main road in front of the house we found him dead on the side of the road, run over by a car and his head crushed.

With no skid marks nearby, we deemed this as a deliberate and vicious act and we are quite upset that someone could do this.

This was one of our thriving young males but most importantly he was a member of our family.

Like the Blue Iguanas in the Botanical Park in Grand Cayman, there are a few of us on the Brac who are trying to help rebuild a once prosperous population of Rock Iguanas again. So I ask that you please watch out as you drive, so that we do not suffer another loss.

Ventisha Conolly

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