St. Thomas and Iguanas

One of the US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, surprised us with it’s lizard residents. We knew that we might see them, but on our way to the Coral World Ocean Park we spotted iguanas in trees and as we entered the Park, they were everywhere. We want to share this post to make you more comfy about the idea of iguanas sharing the island life with you.

We are not scared of these creatures, but understand a lot of people feel a little uncomfy around them. The mature iguanas can be large and pretty rough looking with the spikes on their spine (we think they are beautiful). But they are leaf, fruit & berry eating herbivores that are likely to escape when approached in the wild. OK, they annoy locals by munching garden crops and pooping there.

They may stand on their feet and freeze, bob their head to fill the dewlap under the chin, hiss and whip the tail, but that’s about it. Still, please, leave the scene if the animal finds you threatening. They do have sharp teeth. Iguanas are basically peaceful, warmth craving creatures that hang around in the sun and places that have absorbed the rays.

Iguanas are not original residents on St. Thomas. Some were maybe brought by Amerindians as the lizards were an easy source of protein (not eaten here these days), some have floated on tree trunks after storms.

Unfortunately, us humans are a serious threat to these gentle creatures. Firstly, we have made them like city pigeons. How stupid is it to feed them sausages, potato chips and candy? Giving them unhealthy treats draw them away from their natural food sources and make them way too friendly. Secondly, traffic is killing iguanas as they cross the roads or hang around on the warm asphalt.

The recent hurricane season 2017 was not a disaster only to humans. The devastating storms left the lizards very vulnerable as tree tops were badly damaged, flowers and fruit torn away as well. We wish all the best for them.

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