One of the most memorable activities on my St. Thomas eco trip was feeding the iguanas. I'm used to laid back Mexican iguanas that bask in the sun and pose patiently for photos. Little did I know that St. Thomas iguanas do not share such a genial nature. My first indication was the sign above. Posted at the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort which sponsored my trip, I discovered similar signs all over the island. I heard rumors of iguanas snapping the fingers of the hands that fed them. This didn't exactly make me eager to feed the little creatures but I wasn't deterred.
Wild iguanas live in trees but at exactly 10:30, which is their feeding time on the resort, I watched a dozen slowly emerge from the water, rocks and bushes.
They slithered slowly, freezing into a position and then moving when they thought the coast was clear. Most St. Thomas iguanas are greyish, to blend into the rocks along the shoreline.
Some boasted extra long tails like this one. He was visciously whipping it around, which is supposed to warn that this is his territory. I wasn't about to argue, although I noticed that a clutch of iguanas were slowly surrounding me. This is when I was informed that iguanas love red, which naturally, I was wearing, rather vividly in the form of a red sun dress and red flower in my hair.
I dropped the lettuce quickly after this iguana shot me a menacing look. A group of them rushed toward me and I climbed on top of a table, out of their way. It turns out that they don't discriminate between humans and their food. Iguanas are vegetarians and cherries and pomegranates are some of their favorite foods. I must have looked like a big, juicy, flowering cherry ready for them to munch on.
Iguanas are legally protected in St. Thomas, it's against the law to harm them. They are regularly fed on Sugar Bay resort but this doesn't keep them from greedily biting hands that might come between them and their food. I think that's the last time I'll try to feed an iguana or least wear red around them.