Hotel Iguana

Wednesday 4 June at 7pm

Guests checking in to the five-star InterContinental Hotel in Valencia, Venezuela, are met by the bell-boy, concierge, receptionist — and iguana. An ecological experiment has turned the South American iguana verde, or green iguana, into a local attraction with international appeal. Natural History New Zealand’s Hotel Iguana screens on Wednesday 4 June at 7pm on TVNZ Family on TVNZ 6.

The iguana was once high on the list of threatened species, persecuted for their meat, skin or simply because they were considered dangerous. Now it has found a safe haven. Officially recognised as an iguana sanctuary, the hotel promotes an unusual arrangement where reptiles and humans co-exist in harmony. Tourists now visit the hotel simply to participate in the ‘iguana experience’.
A nearby petrochemical factory has also turned its grounds into an iguana sanctuary. It may seem like a strange place to live but to the iguanas it’s home.

After years of pampering at both the factory and the hotel, the iguanas are very tame and happily interact with staff and visitors. Hilarious comparisons can be drawn between humans and reptiles. Hotel Iguana provides the perfect setting in which to observe the reptile in us all.