Nine Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas Hatch At San Diego Zoo
Nine Grand Cayman Blue Iguanas hatched at the San Diego Zoo in the last few weeks, more in the last two years as the efforts to save this endangered reptile seems to be bearing results, at least at the zoo's Anne and Kenneth Griffin Reptile Conservation Center. According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, Jeff Lemm, the zoo's research coordinator for lizards built a nesting site using a hollowed out tree stump, filled it with soft dirt and warmed it with light, causing one of the female lizards to use the site to lay her eggs.
The zoo is one of several captive breeding sites around the world that is working to bolster the numbers of the blue iguana in the wild. The captive bred lizards will be sent to other zoos around the country in hopes that they will breed with other iguanas in an effort to bolster the lizard's population. A breeding effort on Grand Cayman Island has resulted in the release of 500 animals, with up to 1000 expected to be released in the next two years.
The Grand Cayman blue iguana is one of the largest iguanas, at around five feet and weighing 30 pounds. In the wild, it feeds primarily on fruits and vegetables. The blue iguana has suffered on its island habitat, with its young decimated by feral cats. The lizard also has a penchant for sunning on the island's roadways, where the lizards are then run over.