Native snake snacks on alien iguana

| 23/02/2009

(CNS): It wasn’t quite what golfers were expecting to see on the 5th hole of the Brittania golf course, but last Saturday James Robinson and two friends came across this 6½-foot snake, an indigenous Alsophis cantherigerus caymanus, sometimes called the "Cayman Racer", swallowing an 18-inch Common Iguana, often referred to as a "Green Iguana", which is an invasive alien species. Robinson said they were just walking onto the green when they saw the snake. (Photo by James Robinson)

“At first my mates didn’t believe me. We watched it for maybe 5 minutes and then finished the hole and then came back again. To start it just had the head, and then when we left it had got past the iguana’s legs. Then the snake dragged it off into the bushes,” he told CNS.

According to local naturalist Fred Burton, who identified the snake from Robinson’s photograph, the Cayman Racer is a rear-fanged snake, capable of envenomating a young iguana (though incapable of doing so to a human), so the iguana was probably comatose by the time the photo was taken.

Burton said the biggest specimenof this species that he has seen was about 6-foot long, but if they made the Common Iguanas a big part of their diet, they might grow even bigger. It takes the snakes about five days to digest a big frog to the point they want another meal, so this particular diner was probably set for a while.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What the hell does any of this have to do with the fact that a snake is eating an iguana??? Come on people! Does everything in life have to fall back on politics????? The real story is completely lost here…..If this was a snake eating a child who was playing in their yard….would you all be griping about political issues or speaking about the issue at hand!?

  2. Anonymous says:

    UDP passed it with the help of PPM members. But, UDP didn’t enforce it, remember.  BTW the remark about UDP, don’t bother me cause all politicians are alike. For themselves, and all party politics does is think about the best interest of the party and not the country.

    here’s some for ya.

    ppm- Poor People’s Maltreatment or Promise Pretend Misrepresent.

    • Anonymous says:

      "UDP passed it with the help of PPM members. But, UDP didn’t enforce it, remember"

      Well, if that isn’t the silliest thing I have heard! The Law was passed by the UDP Govt. It came into effect on 1st January, 2004. The next general election was not until May, 2005. In the meantime  the UDP had a prominent supporter going around telling the white expat white collar workers that they did not have to worry as this was only for the Jamaicans and giving mass exemptions for their friends at professional firms. Now the disingenuous UDP is going around talking about this Govt’s ‘rollover policy’.  What they they really mean is that the Govt. did not discriminate as they proposed to.

  3. Anonymous says:

    the snake is right keep it here, most $$$$$ is leaving the island because rollover, who wants to invest here, in 7 short years i’m outa hey

    • Anonymous says:

      "most $$$$$ is leaving the island because rollover, who wants to invest here, in 7 short years i’m outa hey"

      That is another fallacy. The money was always leaving here long before any rollover and even when people have permanent rights here. That was so whether you were a Jamaican helper making $800 a month or a highly paid professional making $1,000,000+ per year who had permanent residence or Caymanian status. The rollover simply recognized the existing reality that some people just see this as a place to make money and do not regard it as home. Well, fine. You can do that for 7 years.   

  4. Jedi Dread says:

    All of you have it wrong…

    The Snake representsCayman; the Comatose Iguana… your paycheck.

    – Jedi Dread –

  5. Anonymous says:

    PPM didn’t bring in the rollover policy as far as I recall — a little party called UDP was in power when that happened heroes!!  UDP – Unna Don’t Protect 

  6. Anonymous says:

    More like what the PPM did to the long term workers with the roll over policy, and then did to the economy.

    Now its what the people need to do to them.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Or is the Caymanian snake taking out the foreign iguana?

    I said a mouthful…

  8. whodatis says:

    Ok…so, is the snake UDP and the iguana PPM…or vice versa?!

    Either way it looks like we’ll be waiting quite a while to see any progress!

    Looks like business as usual then huh?