We have had a few unexpected wild guests drop by with us recently – of the fauna rather than human kind. We are really lucky on St Barth to share our island with such a vibrant and amazing range of creatures and at Villa NEO the odd “celebrity” drops in with us. We came across the Red-Footed tortoise. The baby tortoise, that could fit in the palm of a hand, was taking a stroll out and decided to take a rest at our newly installed polished front gates – which we have to say look especially cool. The wide-spread Red-Footed tortoises are very special on St Barth and were introduced to the island from South America. These medium sized tortoises average 30cms as adults. The baby tortoise only stopped for a short while before disappearing into a neighbour’s garden.
We’ve also had a few non-paying guests stop by with us for their dinner. The infamous St Barth Frangipani Worm is a Caribbean beauty as well as a mini beast. These neon yellow striped worms with their fire-engine red head and black bodies are striking visitors to our garden at Villa NEO. Also known as the Rasta Caterpillar, these well-dressed creatures can reach six inches long and their size is attributed to their voracious appetites. They are noticeable as they travel in groups and make light work of a frangipani tree. Due to their diet the Frangipani Worm is highly toxic and guests at the villa are requested to steer clear of them as their fine needle-sharp hairs can cause skin irritations if they are handled.
Finally, our Villa Manager discovered a Green Iguana in our beautiful Courtyard. He was enjoying a bit of downtime lounging in the shade. A bit of deft manouvering and he was caught and checked over to make sure he wasn’t injured and then released into the garden to find his way to his friends.
Guests to Villa NEO who love nature can take advantage of only being a short distance from St Jean Reserve. The Reserve has just reopened and visitors are now welcome to take a stroll around the reserve and enjoy the local fauna and flora at their leisure.