One of the senior iguana’s and star of the Green Iguana Conservation Project has passed today Friday, 30th March 2012 at the age of 16 years. She was a remarkably social iguana who enjoyed the parade of daily visitors, University Interns, Celebrity Hotel guests and hundreds of tiny pre-schooler’s intriguingly awed at her beauty.
“Roxy has been a part of our lives for so many years now. Her character and features stood out immensely from all the others we’ve worked with. I will certainly miss her morning welcome and outgoing demeanor with visitors. Roxy was the most gentle iguana I’ve ever worked with.” The words of a saddened guide and caregiver, Bert at the Green Iguana Conservations Project.
Roxy leaves behind her mate, Gomez age 14 years, whom Eddie (the second of the duo team at the project) explains, “Gomez enjoyed being close to Roxy, flopping around and finding a quiet corner for resting with her.” Iguanas are found to develop close bonds with their mates.
Roxy was four-foot, three inches in length with greenish-brown skin. She was introduced to the Green Iguana Conservation Project in 1996 where she has worked as a part of the “green team” in educating visitors on the importance of this endangered species.
“Iguana’s are considered a delicacy in Belize, especially large fertile iguanas like Roxy are hunted for their eggs,” said Eddie.
Certainly Roxy has made her impact on awareness and she leaves behind a legacy as she will be remembered in hundreds of pictures and videos of fans all over the world. Her most famous picture is the one used on the San Ignacio Resort Hotel’s web site.
In commemoration of Roxy, the team at the project is asking visitors to share their photos of Roxy on facebook.
The cause of death was due to complications in birthing. Although her second time laying, Roxy experienced a unique egg binding situation and consequently her eggs were too large to birth.
Roxy had prepared herself a large burrow to lay her eggs almost two weeks ago and everything seemed to be going as expected, however at the very last minute, things took a sudden turn and she became week and dehydrated due to the elevated stress and pain. She had managed to lay 32 eggs before passing, which we expect will hatch in Early June and leave behind more offspring of Roxy.
We are very grateful for the assistance of Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand of the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network and her VET students Sarah Willis and Stacey Green who assisted and comforted Roxy during her last moments with us.
Roxy will be sadly missed by the staff of the San Ignacio Resort Hotel, the team at the Green Iguana Conservation Project; Eddie and Bert and her fellow reptilian friends at the project.