Thursday, September 29, 2011

Iguana Sanctuary in Guatemala

One creature you may see in Guatemala is the iguana. I'm not sure how you feel about the leathery-looking, tree-climbing animals, but the Pineda family in Guatemala has 500 of them in an Iguana Sanctuary. (click on the youtube clip below for a documentary view of the sanctuary:)

One of the 5th grade teachers at the international school had a couple of pet iguanas in his classroom as well, so I got to meet them closer than I would have if they'd just been in the wild. He had his with a heated rock and a sun lamp and sometimes they would climb the small trees he had growing in his classroom. A different 5th grade teacher refused to enter his room from the fear that an iguana would jump off of the tree and attack her!

Having an iguana in a classroom could, perhaps, be challenging for the iguanas sometimes. One particularly curious and insensitive boy held down the tail of one of the iguanas until the iguana, following his instincts, released his tail and scrambled up a safer side of the cage. The students learned more about instincts and self-preservation in nature, and hopefully, how to NOT injure an animal on purpose.

Image: PANPOTE /

In a country where iguana is sometimes used as a meat source in areas where protein is a privilege, having a family who would create a sanctuary for iguanas is extraordinary.

Would you visit an iguana sanctuary? Do you have one as a pet? Or, like me, do you just appreciate the miniature dragons from a distance?

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