Iguanas could rain down from trees in Florida as temperatures plunge

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Iguanas could rain down from trees in Florida as temperatures plunge

Florida weather forecasters are warning iguanas may be falling out of trees this weekend as the Sunshine State goes through a cold snap.

Temperatures in the usually balmy state are expected to plunge this weekend, hitting below freezing in some areas, meaning the cold-blooded lizards raining down to the ground.

“They slow down or become immobile when it’s below 40,” WFTV meteorologist Brian Shields posted on Twitter. “They may fall from trees, but they aren’t dead.”

The phenomenon isn’t uncommon when frigid weather hits Florida. In 2020, the National Weather Service Miami-South Florida issued a warning ahead of a deep chill.

“This isn’t something we usually forecast, but don’t be surprised if you see Iguanas falling from the trees tonight as lows drop into the 30s and 40s. Brrrr!” the NWS Miami tweeted at the time.

Iguanas, which aren’t a native species to Florida, usually get moving again when it warms up, AccuWeather said in a report this month.

A stunned baby iguana lies in the grass at Cherry Creek Park in Oakland Park, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020.
A stunned baby iguana lies in the grass at Cherry Creek Park in Oakland Park, Fla., on Jan. 22, 2020.
Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP
A stunned iguana lies in the grass at Cherry Creek Park in Oakland Park, Fla., Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020.
Cold-blooded iguanas can become immobile when temperatures dip below 40 degrees, according to WFTV meteorologist Brian Shields.
Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP

The animals can grow several feet long and weigh up to 25 pounds, which can be dangerous to people — and sidewalks — when they torpedo out of a tree, the report said.

And residents shouldn’t try to rescue any iguanas by bringing them into warmer temps because they may heat up in more ways than one, a wildlife expert told USA Today.

“Iguanas have sharp teeth, claws and a long tail that they may use to protect themselves when acting defensively which can potentially be a safety risk,” Sarah Funck, an official with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission told the paper.

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