Be wary of falling iguanas, authorities warn
Weather forecasters in Florida warned people over the weekend to be wary of iguanas falling from trees as temperatures dropped as low as 25 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 Celsius) in the southern state.
“A cold morning… not as cold as our friends to the north dealing with a blizzard… but we have our own lizards to worry about,” the National Weather Service of Miami-South Florida tweeted on Sunday.
“Iguanas are cold-blooded. They slow down or become immobile when temps drop into the 40s (4-9 Celsius). They may fall from trees, but they are not dead,” the service said.
For iguanas, which rely on chemical reactions in the body to produce energy, the unusually frosty weather can render the cold-blooded animals sluggish and unable to remain attached to their arboreal habitat.
As a result, many Florida residents have witnessed the iguanas falling to street level over the weekend.
I think the iguanas are fed up with this cold in Florida. Near freezing temperatures led to many falling right out of the trees they call home, this morning. 📸 Cathy Butler📌 Dreher Park pic.twitter.com/usSk6vXNQu— Zach Covey (@ZachCoveyTV) January 30, 2022
It’s so cold in (40 degrees) Florida the iguana 🦎 done froze to death 😂 pic.twitter.com/JvIg9VQAOj— Willy Earl (@DOLCE10000) January 30, 2022
Experts say the animals will likely wake up in the heat of the Sun.
Green iguanas are not native to the state, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and were accidentally introduced as stowaways on cargo ships. They are considered an invasive species.
In their native habitats, humid, tropical rainforests, they prefer to live high up in the tree canopy.
The weather is expected to warm up considerably during the week.