A pair of blue iguanas, a reptile species that was once on the verge of extinction, are now on display at the Bronx Zoo.
At one point the iguana population, which was once under threat from human activities and feral dogs and cats on their native Cayman Islands, had dwindled to less than 20, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.
However, an effort spearheaded by organizations including the Cayman Islands Department of the Environment and the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Iguana Specialist Group has helped the species recover, to the point where the IUCN recently changed their status from critically endangered to endangered, according to the Bronx Zoo.
“Although many people have never heard of a blue iguana, the animals at the Bronx Zoo will help us tell the story of their species—a wonderful story of conservation success,” WCS Vice President for Health Programs Dr. Paul Calle said in a statement.
The WCS has spent years assisting partners in the Cayman Islands with recovery efforts for the blue iguana, and two of the young reptiles are now at the Bronx Zoo, where workers hope to eventually breed the pair, officials said.
The iguanas are found only on the Grand Cayman island in the wild and can grow to almost five feet long and weigh 30 pounds as adults, according to the Bronx Zoo.