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Requiem For Godzilla

Discussion in 'Over the Rainbow' started by Dominick, Oct 17, 2004.

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  1. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    In the September 2004 issue of Iguana The Journal of the International Iguana Society (, there is an article titled "Requiem For Godzilla". Here's a short synopsis of the life of Godzilla.

    Godzilla was a Grand Cayman Blue Iguana (Cylcura lewisi), the most endangered iguana in the world. It is estimated that there are only 5-15 wild lewisi left. The banner you see on Herp Center's front page is a direct link to the Blue Iguana Recovery Program currently in place on Grand Caymen.

    Godzilla was captured as a full grown adult in 1950 on Grand Caymen by naturalist Ira Thompson. At that time Godzilla weighed over 15 pounds and was estimated to be at least 15 years old.

    Sadly, in late May of this year, according to the article, Godzilla died from age related liver failure. At his death Godzilla was 69 years old! The oldest living lizard on record!

    Godzilla passed through a few private owners before he was permenantly placed in the Gladys Porter Zoo, where he has lived and been well cared for since 1997.

    Being one of the few surviving wild lewisi, Godzilla's sperm was recovered and stored for future use in an attempt to increase the gene pool of the lewisi population.

    Godzilla's species name has changed three times in his life! He started as Cyclura macleayi lewisi, later became Cyclura nubila lewisi, and passed away as Cyclura lewisi.

    Godzilla will be sadly missed by all those who kept up on his life, and by those who cared for him all these years.

    To Godzilla: There is a very special basking spot for you old fellow in the beautiful Rainbow Tree, where you will once again be surrounded by your kin and friends. God Speed Old Friend. Thank you for your time with us.

    Here is a picture of Godzilla, taken from Iguana:

    As always, I encourage everyone to visit and join the International Iguana Society ( The IIS is instrumental in programs like the Blue Iguana Recovery Program and your $25 annual membership fee gets you a subscription to this fascinating and beautiful magazine. It is well worth the money you spend and help many species of iguana.
  2. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    He lived a LONG time! Wow!

    Is'nt he the the same IG you had one of yur pictures taken with?

    I've been meaning to ask you how the Iguanas are doing now that all the Hurricanes are finally over...
    I'll go check out the site for updates, I guess....:p
  3. Jay DeMore

    Jay DeMore Elite Member

    Dominick was kind enough to share a couple of the magazines with me, the information is outstanding. I signed up for the 3 year plan.
  4. MoLdYpOtAtOe

    MoLdYpOtAtOe Elite Member

    That lizard is very pretty. Thankfully his sperm will be used to create more of him. A great lizard! How many of them are recorded to be alive to this day? Does any one know?
  5. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    There are anywhere from 5-15 still wild, about 200 hatchlings from last year, some yearlings are being released this year, and clutches of eggs are rapidly growing from this last season.

    If the head-starting works as planned, they can increase the population significantly over the next few years.

    Lewisi located in private collections today are very carefully managed so as not to lose that particular gene pool.

    They are magnificent iguanas.

    Here's a pic of me and a lewisi I met in California this summer:
  6. cman

    cman Elite Member

    nice pic hes really old wow
  7. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    What a sad time, but glad to hear that Godzilla lived to such a grand old age! - a very special ig indeed! It is great that plans are to reproduce him in the future, such a bloodline needs to live on, and great that everything is being done to conserve this species.

    Thanks for letting us know about the recovery programme, hopefully more people will get involved and we can all be a part of these very worthy efforts.

    Btw,.. stop making us jealous with your once-in-a-lifetime photo of you with one of those beautiful igs!! :p

    Rest in peace Godzilla.
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