Scales and Feathers…
That’s what the roadkill consists of in the Cayman Islands. Mainlanders aren’t used to seeing squashed iguanas and chickens on their roads. A bit of a strange observation, I admit, but an observation nonetheless.
This is one of the first things I noticed when landing on the island. There are many differences, but the animals that surround the bushes and trees in Cayman, and the bars and restaurants at times, have a much more personal relationship with people than do the squirrels and rabbits of the north.
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch an iguana in a clumsy moment as it drops 10 feet out of a palm tree. A little dazed, a bit embarrassed and with tourist audience laughter, the iguana will give a little shake and saunter off in search of a new basking locale.
The island foul, on the other hand, are not as endearing. The roosters beckon the sun before any reasonable hour of consciousness and the chickens really do cross the road… we still don’t know why.
One can’t help but chuckle at the lost and clueless chickens roaming the KFC parking lots as the angry colonel glares down with his wicked sneer. I’ve often wondered how many times I may have eaten “parking lot chicken” at some of the local island restaurants. I’m sure it’s happened, but on the positive note, I guess that would be some fresh food!
The Cayman Islands have much more wildlife to offer than just iguanas and chickens, obviously. On its list of animals are also birds, fish, turtles, crabs, nurse sharks, and one lonely dolphin named Stinky.
Stinky is a Lone Ranger of the waters surrounding Grand Cayman. He is a bottle nose dolphin with a big reputation in these parts. There are a few theories as to why he is all by himself. He’s a bit of a stinker which is why I think he got his name. Some stories say that in 2004, during hurricane Ivan, his mate got blown to the other islands, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. Other theories state that he was too much of a stinker that his pod disowned him. He doesn’t seem to mind though.
Local divers and boaters see him often and the snorkel tours for tourists always provide the “Stinky disclaimer” that mentions if he is seen not to touch him or engage in any kind of exchange with him because for Stinky that’s the green light to play. I can’t say I’ve ever played with an 800 pound animal, but I’m sure his playful would be my painful. He’s also been known to get a little “fresh” with people sometimes too; that’s awkward. I guess life would get a little boring though, living in a world where you are the only one of your kind. My heart goes out to him and this unconventional dolphin life he was dealt; he seems to manage pretty well.
So among the beautiful palm trees and the crystal clear waters that Grand Cayman offers live some quirky sights to be seen within the animal realm.
Next time you are looking to escape to the islands for some snorkeling, diving, swimming or sunning you should check out the Cayman Islands with it’s multiple layers of personality! Who knows, you may catch a glimpse of some noteworthy animal behavior on your next visit!