A rescued giant iguana is thriving after being given a new home at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium.
Nicknamed ‘Red’, the six-year-old green iguana faced an uncertain future after his previous owner could no longer look after him.
However keepers at the Towan Promenade wildlife attraction were able to step in and offer the metre-long reptile a spacious new home.
As part of his ongoing treatment, and to ensure he remains fit and healthy, staff regularly weigh Red and keep a close eye on his overall condition.
“Since his arrival Red has had lots of gradual contact with our keepers, he clearly enjoys human interaction and likes being tickled,” said Blue Reef’s Jade Horsley.
“It’s important our staff are able to establish a good relationship with him as it allows them to more closely monitor his health and to ensure he remains in top condition,” she added.
Green iguanas are primarily herbivores, feeding on leaves, flowers, fruit, and plants.
They are often found perched on branches overhanging rivers and when threatened will plunge into the water for safety. Although they spend much of their time motionless they are also extremely good climbers.
Green iguanas have an organ on the top of their heads called the parietal eye.
Although it cannot form images this ‘eye’ is sensitive to changes in light and dark and can detect movement which helps detect birds of prey and other potential predators stalking it from above.
“Red ended up here at the aquarium as his previous owner could unfortunately no longer care for him,” said Jade.
“Iguanas are becoming more common now as pets, however they require a vast amount of care and commitment – as they grow up to a metre-and-a-half in length and can live for more than 20 years.
“We would not recommend people to buy them unless they are able to provide them with a permanent and suitable home,” she added.
You can keep track of Red’s progress on Instagram page @bluereefnewquay where they will be posting regular updates.
Issued by Blue Reef Aquarium. For more information and to arrange interviews, picture or filming opportunities please contact Jade Horsley or Steve Matchett on 01637 878134.