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Cayman Blog from The Reef Resort in Grand Cayman

The Reef Resort, Grand Cayman adopts Dragons Save the Blue Iguanas

(Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – 2008) The Blue Iguana is an incredible, dragon-like creature endemic to Grand Cayman, and today, man and nature have diminished 90 percent of the Blue Iguana population. “The Reef Resort’s employees and management team are passionate about the environment where we live and prosper so it’s only fitting we assist the National Trust and National Art Gallery to raise funds and awareness for the Blue Iguana Recovery Program,” stated Tom McCallum, director at The Reef Resort Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. The Trust’s original captive breeding facility is located close to the resort in the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park (QE2) and now houses 100 hatchlings, 100 second-year juveniles, and about 40 adults at an annual cost of US$950.00 per Blue Iguana. This facility offers ticketed guided tours and total submersion in the life of these magnificent creatures.

The Reef Resort, located on the secluded East End of Grand Cayman, announced a new fundraising package entitled Adopt a Dragon to support the Blue Iguana Recovery Program. Each time the package is booked, the resort will donate US$25 and the family will receive a certificate of appreciation. Winter package rates (1.5.08 – 3.28.08) start as low as US $1990 for a family of four including taxes while summer (3.29.08 – 12.20.08) package rates start at U.S. $1650. This five-day package includes a car rental pick up at the airport, a Safari tour of the Botanic Park and the Blue Iguana Recovery Programme, plus a self-guided tour around Grand Cayman discovering the Blue Dragon Trail – a quazi “where’s Waldo” type of adventure.. “Conservation on Grand Cayman is a way of life and it’s our hope that families and children who book this package will learn the importance of preservation and have fun while they do it,” added McCallum.

It’s a natural connection, with The Reef Resort being so close to our centre of operations,” states Blue Iguana Recovery Programme director, Fred Burton. “We’ve worked hard to make our Blue Iguana breading facility interesting and accessible to visitors, and it’s very exciting to see how growing public interest is starting to help pay for the conversation work that is so desperately needed for these magnificent creatures.”

Families who book Adopt a Dragon will be emailed a handy link that directs guests to The Reef’s website, www.thereef.com, with links to the programme’s newsletter, The Blue Iguana Tales, and other informative websites. Upon check in, families will receive a brochure on the plight of the Blue Iguana, plus a Blue Dragon island trail map. The Blue Dragon Trail is a self-guided tour, mapped by the National Trust and Cayman Islands Department of Tourism. Families will find this trail to be a wonderful opportunity to get creative and invent a fun car game to spot the fifteen
colorful Blue Iguana sculptures that traverse the island from the 7-mile beach to the shores of Rum Point, plus several other family-friendly parks. The highlight of the trip, however, will undoubtedly be visiting the captive breeding facility where guests can see Blue Iguanas of all ages, from hatchlings to over 5-foot-long adults that can weigh over 25 pounds, all within reach. A guide tells the story of each dragon, their history stage of life and what they are doing to fight extinction.

To extend this animal vacation adventure, families also can visit the Butterfly Farm, swim with the stingrays at Stingray City, visit the Cayman Island Turtle Farm, or snorkel, and feed the fish off the private dock at The Reef Resort, all of which can be coordinated through The Reef’s onsite concierge, concierge@thereef.com. For additional information on this package or other packages offered at The Reef Resort, visit online at www.thereef.com or call/email reservations at 888.232.0541 reservations@thereef.com.

To learn more about the plight of the Blue Iguana, visit www.iguanafoundation.org/index.php; www.blugiguana.ky www.caymanislands.ky/bluedragon/index.htm; or www.nationaltrust.org.ky/info/blueiguana-con.html

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