Today I bumped into a gang of youngsters who had poached a large, healthy male green iguana of breeding age from woods on the south of San Pedro. Green iguana are protected under Belize wildlife law and it is an offence to possess one without a valid permit from the Belize Forest Department. The children were treating the animal very roughly and it was not pleasant to watch.
The young men were not cooperative and quite abusive. They eventually passed the iguana into the possession of a man who was running a small shop. When called, the police came and agreed that the man must relinquish possession of the iguana. It was immediately released into a wooded area.
Good luck to the little guy. Let's hope he goes on to reproduce more of these beautiful animals so that the children of Belize will be able to see them in the wild in the future.
Big thanks to the San Pedro Police Department for supporting Belize wildlife law and also to Cherie from ACES (the crocodile folks) for helping offering support during the discussion with the police. I was very pleased that some children, who have attended the Be Kind Belize program, were able to witness this and see our police department in action, enforcing the law to protect wild species from illegal poaching.
Be Kind Belize