Balthazar's got a Brand New Box
No iguana should have an unclimbable habitat, staff of San Angelo Nature Center and members of the cub scouts agreed. Eyeing the center for a scout woodworking project recently, the iguana enclosure was selected and the boys set to work.
Balthazar, the iguana, is nearly four feet long and was once a pet before he was found in an alley in Ballinger. His former habitat was a long, thin, wood and glass box stacked on top of the Burmese python. The poor iguana couldn’t even climb up the thin branch that was in his box.
“The iguana used to be on top of the Burmese python,” said Andrew Garcia, Coordinator of the San Angelo Nature Center. “There was nowhere for him to climb, that branch couldn’t hold his weight.”
When the cub scouts came to the Nature Center in search of a project to help them earn their woodworking badge, staff surveyed the situation and decided Balthazar would benefit most from a new habitat. In order to qualify for the badge, carpentry projects have to fall into one of three categories, one of which includes that the project benefit a nonprofit, charitable organization.
The boys interest in the Nature Center provided the perfect outlet for marrying the woodwork with a good cause. “They said ‘well we want to do a couple of small projects and one large project,’” Garcia said. “Small ones would be birdhouses or bat houses. It’s already too late for birds to find a new place to nest, everybody’s hunkered down for the winter.”
Balthazar has been a resident and popular attraction at the center since October, and due to his house-pet past, enjoys being scratched and held. Thanks to Pack 374 Webelos Two, Balthazar now has a habitation that allows him to climb up to the sunlight.
The enclosure is quite roomy, so much so that the young scouts, ranging from ages seven to 10, had to assemble the wood and glass box at the center after building it. Now the huge wood and glass box stands approximately eight feet high and four feet wide, and has a wooden path with rope to grip leading up to Balthazar’s rope hammock and sun lamp.
Balthazar is now the center of attention in the reptile room; quite literally, actually, as his enclosure forms an island in the middle of the area.
Garcia and Nature Center staff are very thankful for the cub scouts and hopes they want to continue working with the Nature Center in the future.
For more information about the San Angelo Nature Center, call (325) 942- 0121.
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