It’s been an unusually cold week in Florida, ranging from 30-40º Fahrenheit. While this might seem laughable to anyone residing further North, Floridians and local tropical wildlife aren’t particularly built for this kind of weather.
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Iguanas are just one example of local animals hit hard by the cold spell. Video footage captured by concerned residents in the southern-most parts of the state showcase the large green lizards falling out of trees and appearing lifeless on the ground below.
While the situation certainly sparked concern about the animals’ well-being, local experts say that there’s no reason to fret. Instead, this behavior is entirely normal given the circumstances.
Most (if not all) of the iguanas are merely entering a type of low-energy hibernation in which their bodies can sit out the cold weather. Once temperatures warm back up to 50º Fahrenheit or more, these iguanas should spring back to life and return to their regular lifestyles.
The giant lizards’ bodily functions continue in these low-energy states, but at a much slower rate than usual. Experts say this phenomenon occurs every year; iguanas are used to warm tropical weather, and the cold isn’t their forté.
In case you were wondering if the fall hurts the animals, the answer is no (in most cases). The iguanas are said to be unconscious by the time they lose their grip in the tree. On the other hand, experts do say that larger iguanas have a higher likelihood of surviving these incidents than smaller ones, and even more-so when located in direct sunlight.
So what should you do if you happen to find one of these fallen iguanas in your yard? Probably nothing; they’ll wake up on their own and go about their own business. Furthermore, they might become spooked by your handling and lash out in self-defense if they wake up in your hands.