For those worried about the following images,
be reassured that there is no danger to people or pets
posed by native Cayman snakes. Since these are the only
photos known of this event, we wonder if the snake was
actually successful in swallowing the iguana. It appears
to be a pretty ambitious meal! Since these photos are
being circulated by email, to calm the alarm in some
quarters, here is a response from Dr. Mat DaCosta-Cottam,
Senior Research Officer at the Cayman Islands Department
of the Environment:
"These pictures show a (local) Cayman Racer snake
(Alsophis cantherigerus caymanus) eating an (invasive)
Green Iguana (Iguana iguana).
The Racer is endemic to the Cayman Islands, and is found
no-where else in the world, in fact, unique subspecies
of the Racer are present on each of the three islands.
Adults can reach a length of 4-5ft an look quite formidable.
The one pictured looks to be as large as any I have seen
- maybe larger. Racers are to be found throughout the
islands, however, we usually see them much smaller than
this, maybe 2ft in length. Many are killed by cats and
dogs, and run over when they are still young, so very
few survive to reach this large size.
Racers can flatten their heads as a defense response,
and this sometimes leads to their being confused for
The good news is that they are non-venomous, and pose
no threat to people what-so-ever."
(sorry about image quality - shots were taken with a