French fry-craving sand iguanas attacked Blacktip Island holiday carolers Wednesday night, sending eight to the small Caribbean island’s medical clinic. (photo courtesy of Jimi World)
Holiday carol singers going door to door Wednesday night had their procession cut short when they were attacked by a hungry group of Blacktip Island’s native sand iguanas, sending eight carolers to the island medical clinic for stitches and tetanus shots, local authorities said.
“They came out of nowhere, with no warning, a dozen of them, at least” Jessie Catahoula said. “We’d just started ‘Good King Wenceslaus’ when they swarmed out of the sea grapes. Big, bull-iguanas. They don’t have teeth, but they still bite like hell. And those claws’ll shred flesh—they fight off feral cats, you know.
“A first wave of three or four hit, then the rest came charging out,” Catahoula said. “It went from ‘O Holy Night’ to ‘Hell Night.’ They were clawing people’s legs and scaling up their backs. Carolers were screaming, running every-which-way to get away, with iguanas chasing them down the road and through the bushes. Fannie Bottoms fell, and they swarmed all over her. I haven’t seen her since.”
Authorities say the onslaught was food related.
“Big problem on the island with tourists feeding the iguanas French fries,” Island Police Constable Rafe Marquette said. “They’re herbivores, but just like the rest of us, they prefer fries. Got so bad, we declared a moratorium on iguana feeding two months ago to keep folks from getting hurt.
“That appears to have been the trigger Wednesday,” Marquette said. “Little Shelly Bottoms brought a big bag of fries with her, and shared them with the other carolers. The whole group reeked of fried potatoes, the iguanas hadn’t had fries in months, and that sparked a feeding frenzy. Got to remember, these are wild animals.”
Religious authorities said the incident has put a damper on holiday festivities.
“Normally we’d be fully in the Christmas spirit, but now folks are just in shock,” the Reverend Pierre Grunt said. “This could have been any one of us getting mauled out there. All future caroling has been canceled, I can assure you. Everyone’s just too traumatized.
“Folks are hesitant to order fries with their meals, too,” Grunt said. “And frankly, some are scared to cook turkey or mashed potatoes or anything else that might smell like fries and bring the iguana horde down on them. We’ll bounce back, but it’s taken the cheer out of the season.”
Island health authorities are offering free counseling to all carolers. No culls of aggressive iguanas are planned, though the mayor’s office has issued a ban on French fry consumption everywhere except inside island restaurants with securable doors.