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Portsmouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium paid its own animal-inspired festive farewell to Mel, Sue and Mary – with a unique version of the Great British Bake Off.
As well as creating cakes for human consumption, the team also enlisted the help of a Southsea baker to make an extra special Xmas pudding for Lecter, their resident green iguana.
The cake was created by Tara Knight, co-owner of the Southsea Coffee Co and natural food caterer Ginger & Peach, and included apricots, cashews, coconut oil and dates.
“We needed a very specific cake for Lecter, which used only raw, natural ingredients was dairy free, and contained no refined sugar,” said Blue Reef’s Hannah Butt.
“Tara was the perfect cook to choose as she specialises in using natural, unprocessed ingredients.
“As well as being extremely nutritious, she also managed to somehow make it look exactly like a miniature Christmas pudding and I am sure it would have impressed both Mary and Paul.
“Even more importantly Lecter absolutely loved it and, for a slow-moving reptile, he didn’t hang about devouring it!” she added.
The green iguana is known throughout its native South America as the ‘tree chicken’ as both flesh and eggs of the iguana are considered a delicacy.
Native to South America, 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.
Issued by Blue Reef. For details and to arrange interviews please contact Hannah Butt or Jenna MacFarlane on 02392 875222.

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