EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – International Blue Iguana Day is set for Saturday May 8. You can celebrate with the El Paso Zoo by visiting Rex at the Reptile House inside the zoo this Saturday.
Rex is a grand Cayman Island iguana. He is 7 years old and lives here at the reptile house with a bunch of other reptiles, snakes, frogs, amphibians. All sorts of animals.
“Iguanas, some species are really known to be quite affectionate. They don’t make good pets because they do take a lot of care but here at the zoo, we are able to give him everything he needs which does include scratches for him. he loves being scratched, being misted. We do hand feed him. We do train him. He gets a lot of stimulation here at the zoo,” said Normandy Crohn, zookeeper.
Rex many animals at the El Paso Zoo are trained. He has been trained to target.
“Target is a type of conditioning we use with a lot of our animals here, even the reptiles can target train. Basically we provide a physical target that they have to touch in some way. With reptiles it’s usually with their mouth,” Crohn said.
They like it or sometimes they bit it. Basically we reward them for when they do a behavior act. In this case touch the target with his mouth, you kind of saw him licking it. We reward him with bugs, scratches, crickets. stuff like that. It’s not for any specific purpose. We do a lot of training fro medical behaviors that help us do exams. But for him it helps stimulate him. It gives him something to do and gets him some exercise,” Crohn said.
Visit the El Paso Zoo website for more details.