Even though Fio is at least 8 years old, he is still growing. Perhaps it's because he doesn't have much else to do besides eat. Even though he lives in a 6 x 10 foot greenhouse, it's a very tiny cell for an animal who should live in forest.
But he seems to enjoy his food. In the summer he likes dandelions, garlic mustard and hibiscus flowers. Zucchini and squash are really popular, too, especially when they are locally grown. He seems to have a freshness detector.
He's a magnificent, mostly orange creature now, with huge muscular legs, a perfect row of spikes down his back and massive jowls. He bobs his head when he sees me, but then closes his eyes and extends his dewlap for misting with the water bottle.
What kind of life does he have? Yes, we prevented him from becoming a casualty of neglect, but he is still a captive animal with no prospect of ever being free.
I have a recurring fantasy, that I am on an airplane with a bunch of other people. There are boxes and crates full of iguanas and we are all on our way to 'Iguana Island', a sanctuary in some tropical climate, dedicated to the care and well-being of 'pet' green iguanas. There is a staff of volunteers who love these creatures and make sure they can successfully transition to living outdoors and eating the local greenery.
Maybe there is a resort hotel there, where families can come and enjoy being surrounded by beautiful dragons of all sizes. The children would receive the much needed words that just because something is 'pretty', we have no right to own it. A green iguana belongs in a tree in a tropical forest, not in a cage.
In the meantime, Fio languishes in a cage. You can call it an 'enclosure' or a 'habitat', but it's a cage. I would like to see him become more of a resident of the house, like our cats, but I have no idea how this could work.
If you have any ideas, let me know!