Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Well, Hello There!

We just missed catching a ferry to the island last week. Even though our taxi driver tried to prove to us that he had taken a course at the NASCAR driving school for taxis. The bad thing about arriving just in time to see the ferry pull away from the dock is having to sit around for 30 minutes waiting for the next one.

There is an outdoor dining/waiting area there so we pulled up a couple of chairs in the shade and proceeded to wait it out. As soon as the sound of chairs scraping on cement was heard, over to us rushed this guy.




Exhibiting no fear at all, he came right up to me. He was about 2.5 feet long. I have never seen an iguana so close to humans before. At least not voluntarily. Of course, he was looking for a hand out.

There are many iguanas over there but they mostly stay on the rocks. At least they never come onto the cement pads where people are. I think that maybe one too many tourists have been throwing french fries, potato chips or other goodies to these guys. This one has now learned that people = food. Not a good thing. It raises all kinds of concerns in my mind about feeding wild animals, their ability to survive on their own and the increase in aggressiveness.

What do you think about feeding iguanas at the ferry dock? Should a sign be put up? Should they install a fence to keep the iguanas on the rocks. Should they just ignore it?

15 comments:

Calypso said...

The U.S. parks always discourage feeding the animals - the theory being it disrupts the natural order.

I would not have a problem with them.

Tough duty by the way - sitting there watching the ocean and enjoying the sun - I guess having that view out your front door all the time tends to blind you to how great that 30 minutes would be to the rest of us. Awe well. ;-)

Leah Flinn said...

I also worry the acclimation to trusting humans will lead to captivity. There are many people who would to scoop him up and sell him.

KfromMichigan said...

I agree with you. Iguanas need to stay away from people & survive on their own. I say install that fence!

Linda said...

I don't think a fence will keep any iguana out, since they climb on everything. A sign might work, if people will actually pay heed to it. I just chose to ignore them.

Linda
IC

Anonymous said...

Install a fence to keep the iguanas out? And here in the states people are coming undone because a fence is installed to keep people out. I say let the little fella enjoy HIS SPACE that the HUMANS came and built upon. Both species can exists together.

Jane said...

Pretty markings on that beastie ... Don't think you need to worry, iguanas don't usually attack human beings, do they?

jeanie said...

Not too long ago, I would probably have said "What's the harm?" but I recently spent some time in Jasper Alberta. Feeding wildlife there gets you a hefty fine and littering can lead to jail time. There are Ft.Know type refuse containers everywhere (even downtown) with signs "Garbage Kills Bears".

There are many polite signs everywhere that make you feel like part of the eco-environment. Signs would be appropriate about the iguanas. I'm sure the folks feeding them just don't realize.

Life's a Beach! said...

I have an iguana story. A few years ago, my cousin's wife was sunning at a pool in Costa Rica. She fell asleep to be awakened by an iguana biting down on her hand. They had a heck of a time getting the iguana to release the bite and she had to be treated by a doctor. My cousin's theory is that the iguana smelled banana on her hand. And I'm betting someone in that area had fed that iguana bananas!

Anonymous said...

They should definitely be protected!

Linda Dorton said...

The iguanas at the ferry WAITING AREA have obviously become accustomed to people tossing them goodies. If they tossed them bananas, fruits, THEIR natural foods....great.

However I was in a park around Darwin, Australia, where people had been feeding giant MONITOR lizards and that got gross. They are creepy and you couldn't eat your horrible hamburger because they were begging you. I'd be afraid of their bite!

Feeding iguanas chips and other junk food...feeding fish cheezwiz or sugared cereal are NOT recommended. Cheezwiz was a popular item for divers to feed the fish until they discovered that it turns into plastic in their stomachs which they can't digest. It F's them up! And this does throw off the entire ecological balance. So I am on the fence with this one because.....

Some of us in Mérida feed our iguanas so they know they have some places left in the city they can hang out. They are a dying breed, aren't they? The abandoned overgrown property behind me is a great place for iguanas to thrive. But they can no longer access the mamey or batfruit in my yard, thanks to the human presence AND my cats, so I toss their treats up to them. I pick up the old hibiscus flowers and throw them on top of the roof over the pool. I toss up bananas and whatever fruit rinds we have. The biggest iguana lets his girlfriend have a few chunks, then he saunters over and has some. He hangs out while I am in the pool. I think he likes it. And I enjoy watching this amazing creature.

So I believe in a certain amount of interaction between humans and animals. When it is in the best interest of all. Those iguanas used to have that area around the ferry docks to themselves, where they found natural foods, sunned themselves, and carried on with their natural scheme. We interrupted it so can't we get involved enough to at least insure they eat stuff from their required food groups?

Steve Cotton said...

Fences and signs are a great NOB idea. But, if they do not work up north, why would it work on the island? Of course, you are talking mainly about tourists. Maybe they would respond to regimentation -- the type of thing my Mexican neighbors just laugh at.

By the way, I have always liked the iguanas on your side of the country. Great markings. Stylishly black and gray.

Anonymous said...

Grilled Iguana ..... hmmmmmm, I think I have a recipe somewhere for that .....

I say feed 'em, lure 'em, snag 'em, & eat 'em.

Every Iguana for Himself.....!

O Robert

Jane said...

While lazing in a hammock at Isla Holbox, I watched a large iguana scale straight up two stories, and disappear into the second floor patio of a nice new concrete beach house. Good thing no one was home.

Merida Mikey said...

I love everything about iguanas. They always remind me of some prehistoric beast from millions of years ago. The waiting area you refer to is THEIR territory. I'm not for feeding them chips and dips, but I see no harm in tossing them some of their natural foods as a gesture of "thank you for allowing us to invade YOUR space"! Be aware that all iguanas are carriers of salmonella and are actually dangerous to handle, so I wouldn't want sharing my seat on a bus!

Anonymous said...

Go ahead and feed that iguana; but give it something natural.
(Like you would give-up a french fry!)
-Doug