BioTrek welcomes new iguana, Galileo

By Ashley Cruz, August 30,2022

One year since the death of their almost 20-year-old green iguana, Galaxy, the Rain Bird BioTrek team has decided to bring in another green iguana by the name of Galileo on July 5.

The hatch date of this iguana is not known, but he is assumed to be around three years old. He is a green iguana and loves to eat his favorite foods especially bananas, mangos, snap peas, carrots and sweet bell peppers. He was rescued by the BioTrek team from the Amazon Reptile Center in Montclair, California.

“I supervise all animal care for the department, however, most of the daily care is provided by an awesome team of Cal Poly Pomona student assistants,” said Jennifer Renee Alexander, animal care technician for BioTrek. “They work every day, including weekends, holidays and campus breaks to make sure our animals have the best care every day of the year.”

CPP BioTrek assistants are always at the Rainforest Learning Center to care for and look after all the wonderful reptiles, birds and plants. Tours of the garden, reptiles and habitats are also available by both the students and advisors. The Rainforest Learning Center is not only for the animals, but also provides a look into an on-campus tropical environment.

Iguanas can grow up to three feet long, weigh up to 10 pounds and live up to 15 years, so they can be big reptiles. Because of the space and accommodations that is needed for them, reptile stores need to know if an iguana will have an adequate living space before releasing the animal from their care.

“They (the reptile store) found out that we’re a facility that hosts educational tours and they decided that we were a good place for Galileo,” said Michelle Terrazino, horticulture technician for BioTrek.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Alexander

Galaxy was BioTrek’s previous green iguana who lived to around 20 years. She was known across campus and was the main star during tours. Sadly, Galaxy passed away last summer and left her human friends with the idea of getting another green iguana to fill her home.

“We had just updated Galaxy’s enclosure and after about a month she passed away and it was alone for a year. One day I just came in and said, ‘I want another iguana,’” said Professor Edward Bobich curator of BioTrek and professor in biological sciences

Bobich mentioned how he and the BioTrek team spent days wondering what animal would be awesome to have, but for some reason they all would go back to thinking about an iguana like Galaxy.

Since there was already an iguana friendly enclosure they decided to go on a quest and found Galileo. Galileo’s future is just living life, as mentioned by Jennifer Alexander.

“He gets walked on his leash and harness often, enjoys pets, gets to meet a lot of people daily and just enjoys life.” said Alexander.

Galileo the iguana is now in his new home at the Rain Bird BioTrek in building 4A. Where he is provided daily pets and food with vitamin supplements and calcium, so that he can grow into a wonderful iguana.

For information about BioTrek go to their website

Feature image courtesy of Jennifer Alexander

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