Kindly kayaker gives tired and lost iguana a four-mile ride to shore

I’m surprised that a reptile can swim four miles through salt water without dying, but this iguana wasn’t going to survive—until a kindly human in a motorized kayak came along. From laughing squid, we have this story of a man and his reptile. The description follows:

A really affable guy named Steve of Key West Kayak Fishing was out in the water about four mile from shore when he came across a very tired iguana who swam over to his rig, and after a few cautious moments and some encouraging words, jumped aboard to rest awhile. Concerned, the compassionate kayaker decided that he’d give the wayward lizard a ride back to shore. Steve somehow convinced the iguana to move over to a safer spot on the cooler and away they went. Steve chatted with the iguana the whole way, but when a group of mangroves were in sight, the lizard jumped off the boat and climbed up a tree.

“Most likely, because of the King tides that are occurring it got caught in one of the swift outgoing tides and got pushed out to sea. I was just inside the reef so it was close to four miles from land. Most likely it would have died out there as the current that far out would most likely push it East with very little chance of coming back inshore. But you never know and it could be it’s [sic] normal daily swim back and forth between Cuba and the US. Regardless, it was pretty cool see it trust me enough (versus dying of course) to swim toward the kayak and hop on.”

 

 

h/t: Tom

21 Comments

  1. Stephen Barnard
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    I want one of those motorized outrigger kayaks.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Looks like they build it with a transom so you can mount the motor. Kind of takes the kayaking out of it.

      Nice story….

      • Posted November 9, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        Yes, kayaks do not have motors.

        Call it what it is: A motorized catamaran.

        But, cool rescue.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted November 9, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          Not a catamaran, a kayak with an outrigger and an outboard motor bolted on.

          cr

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted November 9, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

            … as Stephen Barnard said more succinctly in his initial comment…

            cr

  2. Jackson Wheat
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Hello, Dr Coyne, would you be interested in coming on my YouTube channel for an interview?

  3. Posted November 8, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Sweet story!

  4. busterggi
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Good thing the iguana didn’t get picked up by those two recently ‘rescued’ 5 months lost voyagers.

  5. Dave
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Iguanas (and some other lizards) are pretty good at colonizing isolated islands, the most famous cases being the land and marine iguanas of the Galapagos Islands. Their ancestors must have reached the islands from the South American mainland on floating tree trunks or mats of vegetation, which must have entailed a lengthy spell at sea partly or intermittently immersed in salt water.

    An even more spectacular instance may be the endemic iguanas of Fiji and Tonga (genus Brachylophus), whose closest living relatives are also in South America. Their presence in the western Pacific seems to indicate a trans-oceanic dispersal event over a scale of ~10,000 km, as there are no living or fossil iguanids in Australia or SE Asia that could have provided a closer source population.

  6. SnowyOwl
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    The best part?!
    Iggy knows when to part company.
    Before his host says, “Tastes like chicken.”

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Lucky thing for that iguana ol’ Steve from the Conch Republic never heard the frog-and-scorpion story.

  8. johnw
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if igaunas as a group have somewhat higher than expected tolerance of salt water, as one species is quite at home in salt water. Also, I would guess that in the Caribbean and coastal SA a dunking is not that unusual for any igaunas that frequent mangroves.

  9. Don Mackay
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    How far is Key West from the Galapagos?
    Signed: C. Darwin.

  10. Posted November 8, 2017 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    He’s a kindly human, but a selectively kindly human. He may have rescued a reptile, but keep in mind that he was out there to kill fish. 😉

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted November 8, 2017 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Hey I’d have rescued the iguana too.

      And while I can’t see the point of fishing (as entertainment), I do eat fish. Well fried in batter, with chips. So somebody has to catch the fish and murder the spuds on my behalf.

      cr

      • Petra Sierwald
        Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        I live part of the year in the most southern parts of Florida. The iguanas in my yard like cantaloupe, mango, and banana. Cut into convenient mouth-size pieces. They do not care much for apples.

        • Posted November 9, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          If one of them won’t eat an apple it’s because the iguana don’t wanna.

      • Petra Sierwald
        Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        I live part of the year in the most southern parts of Florida. The iguanas in my yard like cantaloupe, mango, and banana. Cut into convenient mouth-size pieces. They do not care much for apples.

  11. bundorgarden
    Posted November 8, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Nice!

  12. Posted November 8, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  13. Posted November 8, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Great, iguanas can now hitchhike from the sea !


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