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Posted by girlzilla on April 18, 2003 at 13:23:28:
I just read the news from Mr. D. I haven't posted this, because it's embarrassing, but I just finished a round of x-rays and vet visits with Bud, after stepping on him in a dark room. I thought I knew where he was, but I didn't. He's perfectly fine. I didn't step on him hard, but I could have.
I read people's posts about their iguanas dying. "It was the worst day of my life," they say, "I lost my best friend." The iguana deaths I read about are from egg complications, renal failure, total system failure, cancer, traumatic injury, or mysterious causes. I have yet to read of one of our iguanas dying of old age.
On a day like today, I feel like none of this is worth it. Oh, I don't mean I would give up my iguana, or that I don't love him. I mean, we seem to know so little about the way to take care of iguanas, that it feels totally wrong to keep them at all. I don't mean this in the theoretical, PETA way. I'm watching and seeing that iguanas are dying disgusting, painful deaths every time, maybe just because we keep them in captivity. I don't know. Maybe they would have died this way in the wild, too.
Oh, not me, I always used to think, it's not MY fault Bud was imported from wherever! I just found him, and rescued him! But I am starting to fear the day he dies so much that I get teary just thinking about it. If I have anything to say about it, he will die quietly and painlessly in his sleep at twenty or older. But despite my best efforts and the better part of my income, he probably won't.
And I'll have to watch and do whatever futile actions I can to ease his pain, and know that he doesn't understand what's going on, and that indirectly, his death is my fault, and the fault of everyone who inspires other people to keep iguanas.
I don't know if all reptiles and exotics are prone to these violent, terrible maladies, regardless of all the good care they may receive. All I know is that this stuff doesn't happen to normal animals with the same frequency. Maybe that's the kind we should stick to keeping in our houses. If a ban on importation and breeding of iguanas and other exotics was passed today, I wouldn't mind. That's the way I feel today.