Frozen Iguanas Falling From Trees Due to Cold Snap in Florida

January 4, 2018 Updated: January 4, 2018

The winter weather in Florida is so cold that iguanas are reportedly falling from trees.

Wind chill advisories were issued by the National Weather Service in Miami (NWS), Thursday morning, Jan. 4. The department tweeted that temperatures dipped below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the southern part of the state.

The cold snap is rare for the state since the last time temperatures plummeted this low in Fort Lauderdale & West Palm Beach was back in 2010, according to NWS. For Miami and Naples, the last time it was this cold was back in 2015.

According to CBS News, the weather is cold enough to immobilize green iguanas, a common cold-blooded creature in the state.

Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino, tweeted a photograph of what appears to be a frozen iguana facing the sky, “The scene at my backyard swimming pool this 40-degree South Florida morning: A frozen iguana,” he wrote.

Maxine Bentzel, a reporter for CBS12 tweeted more photos of the phenomenon. She also added that the animals could be thawed out if they were moved under sunlight.

But wildlife experts are warning residents to leave iguanas alone, as they could feel threatened and start to bite, once they are able to move again after thawing.

“Don’t assume that they’re dead,” Kristen Sommers told CBS News. She oversees the non-native fish and wildlife program for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Sommers added that when temperatures hit 50 degrees Fahrenheit, iguanas start to get sluggish. When the temperatures fall below that they can freeze.

“It’s too cold for them to move,” she told CBS News.

Greem iguanas are able to live on the ground, shrubs, or in trees in a variety of different habitats. They can also swim in both salt and freshwater and be submerged for up to 4 hours at a time, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservative Commission’s website.

They can also cause damage to residential and commercial vegetation and are often considered a “nuisance by property owners.”


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