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It’s so cold, iguanas are falling from the sky & turning belly-up all over South Florida

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – It’s raining iguanas in South Florida.

With temperatures falling into the 30’s in the region, the reptiles are getting stunned by the cold and falling from trees, often ending up on people’s lawns.

Kay Pavkovich, of Plantation, dealt with a nearly 3-foot stiff iguana she saw outside her home Thursday morning.

She didn’t want the iguana on her deck, so she picked up the reptile by the tail with a towel and placed it in the sunlight to warm up. It began moving sluggishly, and about an hour later, it was up and moving around.

She remembered from a prior cold snap that iguanas usually are still alive despite looking dead. “We don’t like iguanas,” she said. “But there’s no way on Earth I’m going to hurt them.”

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

The non-native iguana populations took a hit in 2010 when the state went through a similar cold snap. But Florida’s recent mild winters have allowed iguana populations to flourish.

They’re not the only reptiles stunned by this week’s cold snap: Sea turtles also stiffen up when temperatures fall, AP said.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission warns that picking up a seemingly frozen iguana could be dangerous.

“Our recommendation is to not pick up the iguana,” said FWC spokeswoman Carol Lyn Parrish. “Once it becomes alive, it is a wild animal that isn’t used to being handled with a human.”

Trapped iguanas can be kept as pets or can be humanely euthanized, according to the FWC. Residents can call an exotic veterinarian, humane society or animal control to euthanize the iguanas, the agency said.

 

(c)2018 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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