29
Apr-2013

A Country seen by its Animals

I’ve lived in Portugal most of my life and free animals wandering around was never seen of CountryAnimals1significant interest by myself, as dogs and sometimes cats are very common in our society. And while some years ago it was possible to see some dangerous dogs packs, I have the impression (no oficial stats though) that it is less and less a problem.

While living in London we did see some dogs, no cats but some foxes and squirrels, so despite the population of a 7 million people city these animalsCountryAnimals2 wander around with freedom and are quite pleasurable to watch. Specially the squirrels when they look like Ice Age movie looking for food or hiding from a hunting animal, typically a cat or a fox. It’s also common to see foxes hunting cats even though most of them look very skinny, showing that they have been living from trash other than good stuffed cats.

Now we crossed the Atlantic so we expected to see other type of animals having the legal freedom to wander around the country freely, and in the Cayman Islands even protected. And that’s exactly what happened, but with surprise, has the first impact we had just after landing where chickens!!!! We saw lots of chickens in packs and with theirs chics out on the road, in green spaces and later even invading houses. (we’ve spoken of this in this post)

Then we saw the dominant creature of this Island, which even has an endangered endemic spicies here, the Iguana. (the endangered species is the Blue) It gives the Island an attractive wilder look, driving to its roads and try to avoid hitting the crazy running Iguanas, and it is also very sad to see so many of them dead on the asfalt.

Iguanas were protected animals for many years which allowed their population to rise to a level than many consider a plague as they eat all flowers and vegetation that the locals try to keep in their gardens. Now it’s possible to kill them and so many are now specialised iguana hunters trying to keep some properties iguana free. CountryAnimals34The Blue Iguana on the other hand is still very protected but most of the population live on a natural park East of the main urban network of the Island, and it is possible to visit on the Cayman Botanic Gardens where they have the Blue Iguana Recovery Program.

We are curious to see what free animals we are going to see in our continuous trip and maybe we’ll even do a map like we are doing with the Spirits.

 

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