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Frozen iguanas in Florida: Tips for warming up a stunned lizard

For those who live in South Florida, you’re no stranger to an iguana crashing a picnic, scampering across the sidewalk in front of you, and sometimes falling out of trees.

Yes, we’re getting dangerously near the time of yr when iguana bodies start dropping like leaves. Who needs fall foliage when you may have dying, cold lizards, anyway?

Here’s when you may expect iguanas to fall.

Cold weather in Florida? Cool temperatures in South Florida will last through midweek, then we are able to expect a warm-up.

How cold is simply too cold for iguanas?

When it gets cold enough, iguanas change into immobilized and slow all the way down to a freeze.

Based on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, iguanas decelerate in temperatures below 50 degrees and “freeze” and fall when temperatures drop into the 30s and 40s.

Floridians were having fun with a fast, early cold front this week after the record-breaking heat that summer brought in 2023, however the cool weather isn’t here to remain. And it didn’t get cold enough for iguanas to freeze. So, you most likely won’t need to worry about falling iguanas for some time.

But when the iguanas do start dropping, don’t mess with them. They might look dead, but they aren’t. They revive when the temperature gets warm enough for them to walk around.

Do I want a license to shoot iguanas in Florida?

There are 32 FWC-managed public lands in South Florida where you don’t need a hunting license to kill iguanas, since they’re highly invasive to that portion of the state. The general public lands where you may kill as many iguanas as you’d like are the identical areas where residents and hunters are encouraged to kill any pythons they see.

Is iguana meat legal within the U.S.?

Eating iguana meat might sound strange to some. But like gator meat, iguana meat is a delicacy to those that benefit from the high-protein, low-fat meat.

It’s legal to eat iguanas, however it’s illegal to import iguanas or iguana meat.

What do you do with a dead iguana?

For those who’ve gone out and killed an iguana without the intent to eat it, don’t toss the body in a road or waterway. You would be charged with a littering fantastic.

Tossing a dead iguana within the trash could also cost you, depending on where you reside. Some cities’ waste management systems let you throw it within the trash whether it is double-bagged, others require residents to rent a non-public pickup service to do away with the dead animal. Check what the foundations are on your city before you toss the massive dead lizard.

Iguana meat is popular in some places throughout Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean and is usually called garrobo or pollo de los árboles (chicken of the trees).

Like gator tail, iguana meat is most frequently in comparison with chicken. Some prefer it to chicken since it packs more protein.

But Iguana removal service Humane Iguana Control says to eat at your personal risk.

“We highly advise against consuming these wild reptiles. Iguanas are herbivores and primarily feed on landscaping plants and fruits found around homes and businesses. Unfortunately, the flora in these areas is usually treated with pesticides, which might pose significant health risks,” Humane Iguana Control’s website says.

“Eating wild iguanas could be dangerous because they could have been exposed to pesticides and diseases. If you wish to try iguana dishes, it’s best to search for places where iguanas are raised for people to eat.”

You could find more information on hunting and eating iguanas here.

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