Look Out for Falling Iguanas. Yep. You read that right. Record low temperatures in Florida are causing Iguanas to fall out of trees prompting the state to warn residents and visitors. It may not seem as serious as the Salmonella Warning but it could have some risk of shock. The videos being posted online are concerning and somewhat comical as well.
Imagine walking through a wooded area on your winter vacation and being struck by a lizard that has lost its grip on a branch and on reality and fallen comatose due to the sub 40-degree temperatures. Check out this video from Kay Pavkovich (@kay_pavkovich) posted on Twitter.
The iguana fared well but he has another cold night ahead! pic.twitter.com/zR0PFI7Oku— Kay Pavkovich (@kay_pavkovich) January 4, 2018
The forecasted sub 40 degrees in places as south as Miami on Wednesday morning has people concerned about these reptile residents. This is the coldest it has been in the southern part of the Sunshine State since 2010. Temperatures have dropped into the 30s and 40s with wind chills dipping into the 20s.
WSVN Channel 7 News out of Florida has also shared a video of this cold-induced phenomenon.
Those iguanas you see everywhere will eventually wake up and scurry off. Here’s one outside our Broward Bureau doing just that: pic.twitter.com/UKV6BtWuhU— Frank Guzman (@fguzmanon7) January 22, 2020
The National Weather Service warned people about the temperature’s strange effect on the Iguanas and made sure to assure people that they are not dead, merely in shock and unable to perform their common tasks due to extremely low metabolism and heart rate.
John Cassidy, RVT Supervisor of Surgery, Orthopedics and Internal Medicine at the University of Georgia Vet School, made sure to caution individuals: “You may be tempted to pick up one of these green guys and take it home as a pet. It is best to just leave the reptile alone because there are some laws and fines in place to deter people from just grabbing these guys”. Captive held iguanas are regulated as Class III wildlife in the State of Florida. A permit is not required to possess green iguanas as personal pets. However, a License to Possess Class III Wildlife for Exhibition or Public Sale must be obtained to possess these reptiles and a Captive Wildlife Importation Permit is required to transport this species across state lines.
It is also worth noting that Cassidy also educated us that these Iguanas can get to over five feet in length and weigh up to 17 pounds. Cassidy said: “They are a bigger commitment than a hermit crab you pick up on the beach. These green iguanas can live up to 10 years in the wild but that goes up to around 19 years in captivity. So, they are a big commitment”
Just as chickens can transmit Salmonella, evidently these guys carry it as well and need to be handled carefully.
For more information on weird winter events, Check out the Giant Snowballs washing up on the Shores in Siberia
Want to know more about the fate of the Iguanas, the Miami Herald says that people are grabbing the little guys and selling the meat online. Yikes.