Making a meal of Cayman’s iguana problems

Snake in the grass: A racer snake swallows an invasive green iguana. - Photo: Margaux Maes

The invasive green iguana may have a new foe.

An image of a racer snake constricting a young iguana was captured by Margaux Maes near her home in Pease Bay.

Her brother Max spotted the unusual scene.

He said, “I was walking my dog in the garden when I stumbled upon the scene of a racer snake constricting a young green iguana. After I had gone to fetch my family, the snake had finished its kill and started eating it.”

He said it was encouraging to see natural predation on the invasive species, but with more than a million iguanas needing to be culled to contain the explosive population growth, human intervention is necessary.

“The green iguana is an invasive species, threatening native fauna such as the beloved blue iguana. While snakes such as these racer snakes will feed on the young iguanas, they are non-venomous. As a result, the adult green iguanas have no predators on the island and have spread out of control. Although nature tries to keep a balance, sometimes it cannot do so on its own,” he added.

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  1. What if it wasn’t a local black racer snake but perhaps a young constrictor of an imported species? Remember the green iguana itself was originally imported here just a couple decades ago and we know that people illegally bring in all types of exotics. I know someone who had a Boa and when it grew beyond their capability to care for it they donated it to Cayman Turtle Farm. At least their actions were responsible, others simply release these unwanted exotics into the wild. Perhaps in a few years we’ll be seeing pythons in our swamps??!!