Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hunting Iguanas...

What's that? in South Florida? I thought only in the Tropics were iguanas are a source of income or food. You catch them to sell to people who would take them to pet shops in the US or Europe, or you put them on the pot for a bit of protein in your diet......I can almost understand this from people in need. Now, for profit and blatantly catching them in the waterways and canals of South Florida.....really.

It seems that since 1966, when they were first introduced to the area, iguanas has multiplied at an incredible pace. Brought here by pet shops specializing in exotic animals...and why may I ask!...the reptiles have adapted well. Not being indigenous of these parts, their unchecked growth is worrisome to environmentalists. There is little they can do against nature. Once they are let loose by owners that cannot handle them anymore, the creatures take to the wild and breed. As anything brought on by globalization, the results are not good for either side. Unfortunately, the iguanas are the bigger losers

Enter the profiteers. These pet shop owners, wholesalers and retailers, see this as a bonanza. They prowl the canals and waterways of the area at night. It's at this time that the iguanas are in a state of suspended sun! They are easy to catch and there are so many of them. People along the banks, either don't want them caught or are happy to get rid of them, so there is a debate raging on. Not one the iguanas will win. There is no law against this practice because the iguanas are not protected, they don't belong here in the first place. Besides the government is too preoccupied with the economic situation and has no resources to tackle the problem.

The iguanas I see along the bridge on Brickell Key will sooner or later be pry of these hunters...that will be a really sad day. They remind me of home, and I have grown accustomed to them. They look so peaceful and harmless on the bougainvillea bushes, sunning themselves in plain view......having no clue what's coming!

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