Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

Frozen iguanas fell from trees in South Florida

Iggy popsicle Freezing iguanas fall from trees in Florida Reuters
Melissa Porter | 07 January, 2018, 17:31

The scene at my backyard swimming pool this 40-degree South Florida morning: A frozen iguana.

Maxine Bentzel, a reporter at CBS12 News, suggested that "iguanas have a good chance of thawing out if you move them into the sun".

Temperatures were below 40 degrees early Thursday in parts of South Florida, according to the National Weather Service.

"It's too cold for them to move", she said.

"Put then over to the side if you feel comfortable to put them in the sun, or put them off the road so you're not running them over", said Maple.

The cold-blooded creatures are native to Central and South America and start to freeze up when the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

And the iguana lived but the winter storm sweeping across parts of the U.S. has prompted animal rescue organisations and local authorities to issue warnings about giving pets shelter, with dogs left out to freeze to death in the cold.

"When the water temperatures drop, stunned sea turtles may float listlessly in the water on or near shore", the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission tells the Herald.

In fact, the cold temperatures are low enough to temporarily freeze the green lizards.

Curious residents who find paralyzed iguanas should be careful, or they might get a nasty surprise in the form of a bite.

CBS News reminds us that green iguanas are an invasive species in Florida - the result of people releasing their pets into the wild. They can grow to over 5 feet long, and their droppings can be a potential source of salmonella bacteria, which causes intestinal illness.

"This provides an opportunity to capture some, but I'm not sure it's going to be cold enough or long enough to make enough of a difference", she said.

One of the strongest winter storms on the East Coast in modern history has pummelled cities with snow and sleet, forcing schools and businesses to close while grounding thousands of flights. "In most cases, they're going to warm back up and move around again, unless they're euthanized".

But iguanas can't don scarves or Canada Goose coats, nor can they regulate their own blood temperatures, like mammals can, when the mercury dips.