Rest in Peace Gomez
It is with great sadness the San Ignacio Resort Hotel announces the death of our beloved alpha male Gomez from the Green Iguana Conservation Project. For 16 years, Gomez had been the Star of the educational program and interacted with an approximate of 50,000 visitors from across the globe—instilling admiration in many, turning emotions from fear and hatred to appreciation and care.
Gomez was severely injured in an accident that involved a stray dog found leaving the Iguana enclosure. Despite emergency care and tremendous efforts by Dr. Isabelle Paquet-Durand and volunteer veterinarians from the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, Gomez succumbed to his injuries. He is predeceased by Roxy, the alpha female from the Green Iguana Conservation Project and Gomez’s partner.
There are far and few stars in reptile education and we can only hope to find a personality like Gomez’s again. He had an amazing character and was extremely friendly to both children and adults. He allowed us to learn so much about Iguanas, their behaviour, preferences, and many other things. Gomez was one of the first Iguanas at the Project and remained a highlight of the tour for many years. On September 8th, 2007, he was adopted by Greg & Christine Austin.
Eddie, one of the members of the Project, says that Gomez “was a very relaxed Iguana and his favourite thing to do was bask in the sun . . . he was very tame, loved being fed papayas and bananas, and being held. Since he was the Alpha male he would show off a lot, which meant bobbing his head; all the younger male Iguanas would run away when he displayed that he was in charge!”
We thank our dedicated team members and Gomez for helping us in making our conservation efforts not only sustainable but also successful. We would also like to extend our gratitude to our visitors, students, and tourists and encourage you to share your photos and memories with Gomez on our Facebook page.
A small memorial was held in Gomez’s honour on Monday, February 10th, 2014. The memorial consisted of team members from the San Ignacio Resort Hotel and the Green Iguana Conservation Project duo, Eddie and Bert—who shared fond memories of Gomez. Although he is no longer with us, his memory will forever be kept alive in the hearts of many.
In memory of Gomez, the Resort would like to honour his legacy by naming our high school scholarship the Gomez Scholarship Fund.