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The Sunbathing Iguana and the Hungry Mongoose

Day 5 in paradise

The Sunbathing Iguana and the Hungry Mongoose

Our cherry red Jeep curved around the corner heading toward the beaches and we noticed something was in the middle of the street. Rob stopped the car and we peered at the object in the road. It was an iguana, sun bathing on the warm asphalt dead center in the twisted road up the side of the mountain. Iguana’s were protected on the island, so we didn’t want to run it over. Rob honked the horn but it just stared back at us, as if it was daring us to proceed. It was staking its claim and we were going to have to just wait. It was moving on island time.

A flicker of movement to the right, and a brown object flung itself out of the brush and into the street. It was a mongoose. It was no bigger than a ferret, light brown fur and a long body. It rushed out towards the iguana and started trying to eat the iguanas head. They began to wrestle. Rob and I were in shock. A battle between the comfortable iguana and hungry mongoose. How was this nature show going to play out?

An impatient driver pulled behind us and must have thought we were measly tourists taking a picture, it swerved around us on the other side of the road and towards the on-going fight. The mongoose spotted the fast-moving car and tried to run back towards the woods to get out of the car’s way, but it was too late. The mongoose caught the front bumper of the car and tumbled onto the side of the road. It was writhing in pain, twisting and turning its body until it finally stopped.

We drove back that same path in the afternoon and saw ants crawling all over the dead mongoose. The iguana was no where to be seen. In that moment, we had witnessed the circle of life. There’s always a winner, and a loser. The iguana lived another day.

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