News, Culture & Society

Chance of falling IGUANAS! Weather service says reptiles may drop from trees due to low temperatures

Florida is set to experience cold temperatures on Christmas Day, along with a possibility of falling iguanas.

The National Weather Service in Miami is alerting residents to be on the lookout for lifeless reptiles on the ground that are stunned by the cold.

Iguanas are cold blooded creatures, so when temperatures drop below 45 degrees their bodies become dormant to reserve energy and stay warm.

South Florida is on track for its coldest Christmas in 21 years that  could result in dozens to hundreds of cold stunned iguanas littering the ground.

 

Florida is set to experience cold temperatures on Christmas Day, along with a possibility of falling iguanas. Iguanas were found lifeless in West Palm Beach this January due to a cold spell

The alert of falling iguanas is to remind residents that although the lizards are shocked by the cold, they may feel threatened and attack once they wake from their frozen slumber.

‘Don’t assume that they’re dead,’ said Kristen Sommers, who oversees the nonnative fish and wildlife program for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, during the January 2018 cold spell. 

Kay Pavkovich, a Florida resident, discovered a reptile lifeless outside her home and bravely carried it to a grassy area where it woke and scattered away.

She shared a video on her Twitter account of her holding the stunned lizard by its tail while its body hung lifeless. 

The National Weather Service in Miami is alerting residents to be on the lookout for lifeless reptiles on the ground that are stunned by the cold

The National Weather Service in Miami is alerting residents to be on the lookout for lifeless reptiles on the ground that are stunned by the cold

Green iguanas are invasive species in Florida that were first reported in the 1960s.

The reptiles are native to Central and South America, but were introduced by exotic animal dealers.

Over the years, iguanas were either released by their owners or escaped from their new found homes and have multiplied by the thousands.

And because these creatures wreak havoc on property from digging burrows, residents see the falling iguanas as fresh meat for the eating. 

Kay Pavkovich , a Florida resident, discovered a reptile lifeless outside her home and bravely carried it to a grassy area where it woke and scattered away

She shared a video on her Twitter account of her holding the stunned lizard by its tail while its body hung lifeless

Kay Pavkovich , a Florida resident, discovered a reptile lifeless outside her home and bravely carried it to a grassy area where it woke and scattered away. She shared a video on her Twitter account of her holding the stunned lizard by its tail while its body hung lifeless

Locales have nicknamed iguana meet ‘chicken of the trees’ and earlier this year when a cold spell swooped into Florida it was being sold online for $1 a piece.

Several ads selling skinned, butchered – and headless – iguanas started springing up online overnight in Miami, Doral and Homestead.

One post advertises freshly prepped garrobo, a name often used in Latin America for iguana, for a steal at $1. The same seller also offers the skin-on variety for chefs who want a more hands-on approach with their food.

The alert of falling iguanas is to remind residents that although the lizards are shocked by the cold, they may feel threatened and attack once they wake from their frozen slumber

The alert of falling iguanas is to remind residents that although the lizards are shocked by the cold, they may feel threatened and attack once they wake from their frozen slumber

‘You know it’s cold when Facebook Marketplace got garrobo meat for sale #BecauseMiami #ChickenOfTheTrees,’ one person tweeted.

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences offers a number of recipes for iguana, including one for iguana tacos.

‘For people who aren’t accustomed to cooking iguana, it is suggested that an easier route may be to make iguana tacos or burritos,’ it says, according to the Miami Herald.

Frank Mazzotti, professor of wildlife ecology at the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center in Davie, Florida, said the meat is delicious.

‘They are excellent to taste, and they are a great source of food,’ he said.

Locales have nicknamed iguana meet 'chicken of the trees' and earlier this year when a cold spell swooped into Florida it was being sold online for $1 a piece. Several ads selling skinned, butchered - and headless – iguanas started springing up online overnight in Miami, Doral and Homestead

Locales have nicknamed iguana meet ‘chicken of the trees’ and earlier this year when a cold spell swooped into Florida it was being sold online for $1 a piece. Several ads selling skinned, butchered – and headless – iguanas started springing up online overnight in Miami, Doral and Homestead

‘There is a reason why these invasive iguanas are hunted in their native countries as food to the point where they are considered endangered species.’

Iguanas are hunted as food in Central and South America and parts of the Caribbean.

The UF/IFAS recommends less experienced foodies get their meat from a reputable processor and warns that the meat should be treated like chicken and cooked through to at least 165 degrees because of the risk of salmonella.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk