Freezing temperatures in Florida are causing iguanas to fall from trees. According to the National Weather Service in Miami, it has been as cold as 5 degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit) in the southern part of the state.Photos have appeared all over the internet of these green iguanas, showing them to be completely immobilized.
Kristen Sommers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said:
Green iguanas, like most reptiles, are coldblooded animals, so they become immobile when the temperature falls to a certain level.
This is not the first time animals have been affected by cold weather in Florida with similar reports being made back in 2008 and 2010. However, it is still uncommon with the average temperature in January being a mild 16C (60F).Residents are being warned to leave the reptiles alone, with Sommers stating "don't assume that they're dead." Once these cold blooded creatures warm up, they may feel threatened and bite.These iguanas are not the only animals feeling the cold with there being reports of sharks washing up frozen solid on a beach in Massachusetts. This cold snap has also left sea turtles disorientated and stunned with wildlife commission's biologists organizing rescues for them.
Source: Atlantic White Shark Conservancy
Green iguanas are seen as pests in Florida, known for digging burrows and eating through landscape, with some being able to grow over 1.5 metres long. It has reached the point where the wildlife commission has started holding workshops for residents in which they can learn how to trap or manage these reptiles.The weather is certainly on the people's side with the cold providing a good opportunity to capture this invasive species whilst they remain frozen. However, as Sommers states "in most cases, they're going to warm back up and move around again, unless they're euthanized."https://twitter.com/MaxineBentzel/status/948966821742424065With temperatures reaching the minuses in some states, it is more important than ever that you keep your pets warm. Their fur, whilst providing some protection, is not always enough.There are many steps that you can take toprotect your pet from the cold, as well as thingsyou can do if you see an animal outsidein freezing weather. However, the most important thing right now is to keep them inside and towrap them up warmif you do go outside.
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