It’s so cold in Florida, National Weather Service warns about iguanas falling from trees


TAMPA (AP/WFLA) – It’s so cold in Florida that iguanas are falling from their perches in suburban trees.

The National Weather Service in Miami said as temperatures are expected to dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit early Wednesday in parts of South Florida.

That’s chilly enough to immobilize green iguanas common in Miami’s suburbs. In 2018, Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino tweeted a photograph of an iguana lying belly-up next to his swimming pool.

Frank Cerabino/Palm Beach Post, via Associated Press

Green iguanas are an exotic species in Florida known for eating through landscaping and digging burrows that undermine infrastructure.

They’re not the only reptiles stunned by this week’s cold snap: Sea turtles also stiffen up when temperatures fall. Wildlife officials say the frigid animals may appear dead but often are still alive.

This is not a new phenomenon — there were similar reports in 2010 — though it is not typical.

Green iguanas are large lizards that are not native to Florida, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They can cause damage to residential and commercial landscape vegetation, and are often considered a nuisance by property owners.

Green iguanas can transmit the infectious bacterium Salmonella to humans through contact with water or surfaces contaminated by their feces, according to FWC.

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