Wicked winter storm freezing iguanas, sea turtles in the U.S. South

Written by on January 5, 2018 in Rare Critters - No comments

It looks rather apocalyptic in the southern United States.

Iguana are literally falling out of trees in South Florida where its 40F (or 4C) after a weather phenomenon sent snow to the region and prompted a “bomb cyclone” to then push north.

Palm Beach Post columnist Frank Cerabino spotted one such frigid critter in his backyard.

CBS 12 News in Miami showed a series of images of stiffened iguanas immobilized from the strange cold snap.

But the advice: Don’t touch them.

Meanwhile, sea turtles by the hundreds are washing up on south beaches from Florida to Texas also shocked by the cold.

The National Parks Service is explaining why it’s happening:

“A cold stunned sea turtle is one that has become hypothermic due to cold weather. Like all reptiles, sea turtles are ectothermic (cold blooded) and cannot regulate regulate their body temperature. If water temperatures drop below about 50°F (10º C), sea turtles become unable to swim. They float up to the surface, becoming vulnerable to boat strikes. They may wash ashore, becoming stranded. If not rescued quickly, these helpless animals often die of exposure or predation.”

Still, this job should be left to the experts, like the Texas State Aquarium.

“South Texas’s unusually cold weather resulted in a record 388 sea turtles being taken into our rehab center for cold-stunning!” the facility wrote on Twitter.

Hopefully, for everyone, it warms up soon – and that’s it for winter weather.


Main Photo Texas Parks and Wildlife Service/Twitter

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About the Author

Dawn Walton

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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