While a sea of hungry iguanas may be a frightful sight for some, it’s just business as usual for a worker at Uma La Cabana wildlife management in Mexico. In the clip above, hundreds of iguanas swarm a farmworker as he doles out buckets of food for them.
What makes the scene particularly wild is that iguanas are masters of camouflage. The boundless scape of the reptiles’ brown and green coloration blends perfectly with the farm’s grass making it appear as though the ground is moving. If you’re wondering how many iguanas there might be, the Uma La Cabana facility is home to 27,000 of the reptiles in total. Most of them will eventually be harvested for their meat.
“We take care of the iguanas mainly for their meat, but sometimes we take in reptiles to rehabilitate and release in the wild,” Franco Flores, who works at Uma La Cabana, told Newsflare.
Iguana meat is a delicacy in Mexico, Central and South America, according to USA Today. You may even find the meat on menus of trendy American restaurants in places like D.C., Los Angeles, and Florida.
“People have been eating iguanas since at least 10,000 years ago when humans reached the New World tropics. It was a readily available, not-too-dangerous food source. It’s always been part of the diet,” William Kern, a professor at the University of Florida, told USA Today.
The thick iguana meat is prepared by boiling it to increase its tenderness. High in protein and low in fat, the meat is frequently used in tacos, burritos, curries, stews, soups and gumbos.
“In terms of cooking and preparing, it’s just like when you prepare chicken and beef products. You have to keep the product from cross-contamination and cook it properly to the right temperature,” Amy Simonne, a food safety specialist at the University of Florida who tricked her friends into eating iguana by telling them it was chicken stew, told USA Today.
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