Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Conserving the incredible green iguana

In western Belize there is a project dedicated to conserving the quirky green iguana. As a threatened species that has been traditionally enjoyed as food, the conservation project is working hard to re-educate people about the beauty of these prehistoric reptiles; as well as return them in to the nearby river system and jungle area.

Belize has managed to protect over 45% of their natural land and marine environments, with the focus being the conservation of habitat for protected animals. For me, visiting San Ignacio is the perfect chance to directly support an environmental project financially, as well as see an amazing creature up close.

Because the chance of an iguana egg surviving in the wild is only 10%, due to predators such as snakes and possums, the people from the Iguana Project collect the eggs from the nearby river and make sure they hatch, not releasing them until the young iguanas are at least 3 years old and a metre long. Strong enough to fend for themselves.

The mating season is only a few weeks away and the dominant male of the sanctuary is starting to change colour. At peak mating season the male (known as a Garobo) is bright orange to attract the ladies attention. He is equipped with two penises so he can mate with up to 20 females in one day!

There are so many cool things about this animal, and after meeting them they come pretty close to being my new favourite (behind the sloth). Iguanas live for up to 30 years, are vegetarian and can grow up to 2 metres long. The tame ones I met love to be patted, climb all over you and enjoy being hand fed. I want one!

Check out the San Ignacio Iguana Project website to adopt an iguana.

Kris

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