Frigid weather causes South Florida iguanas to fall from trees

By Daniel Uria

Jan. 4 (UPI) -- South Florida residents discovered frozen reptiles near their homes and beaches as temperatures in the area dropped below 40 degrees on Thursday.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission warned the frozen iguanas -- seen falling from their perches in trees or lying stiff near backyard pools -- aren't dead, but rather immobilized by the cold weather.


"It's too cold for them to move," Kristen Sommers of the FWC said. "Don't assume that they're dead."

Sommers added the cold may provide some residents the opportunity to rid the area of green iguanas, which are an invasive species in Florida.

"This provides an opportunity to capture some, but I'm not sure it's going to be cold enough for long enough to make enough of a difference," she said. "In most cases, they're going to warm back up and move around again, unless they're euthanized."

A similar freeze in 2010 resulted in the deaths of large portions of Florida's iguana and Burmese python populations.

"Many pythons were reported dead, floating in the Everglades," the FWC said. "Although the iguana or python population may have some mortality occur, the length of time of cold weather may not be enough during this cold snap to make a significant difference."


Sea turtles are also subject to freezing up in the cold weather and FWC biologists have been sent to rescue turtles found floating along the shore.

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