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Fiji Banded Iguana Makes Denver Zoo Home

DENVER (CBS4)– A Fiji banded iguana is making the Denver Zoo home for the holidays and always!

The very colorful, 12-year-old male arrived at the Denver Zoo from the San Diego Zoo. He’s the first of his species to live at the Denver Zoo in eight years.

Eventually zoo keepers will couple him with a female for breeding purposes.

Visitors can see the iguana inside the zoo’s Tropical Discovery building.

Male Fiji banded iguanas are known for their bright green coloring with broad, light blue or white bands.

Females are usually solid green with some spotting. They can grow to about two feet long, but weigh less than a pound. They are an arboreal and herbivorous species and spend much of their time in trees in both wet and dry forests.

The Fiji banded iguana at the Denver Zoo (credit: Denver Zoo)

The Fiji banded iguana at the Denver Zoo (credit: Denver Zoo)

As their name indicates, they are found on only a handful of islands in Fiji and are among the most geographically isolated iguana species in the world. The International Union for Conservation of Nature classifies them as “endangered” with only a recent population estimate of 6,000 individuals on the islands of Makogai and Makodroga.

The Fiji banded iguana at the Denver Zoo (credit: Denver Zoo)

The Fiji banded iguana at the Denver Zoo (credit: Denver Zoo)

Their greatest threats come from habitat loss and mongooses and house cats, which have been introduced to their islands in recent years. The Fiji banded iguana now has full protection under both Fiji and international laws.

LINK: Denver Zoo


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