Sunday, March 3

Watch out for cold-stunned iguanas with cold weather in weekend forecast

With the plummeting temperatures in the forecast this weekend, South Florida may experience a phenomenon unique to the region cold-stunned iguanas.

Steve Kavashansky with the “Iguana Busters” iguana removal service was searching for the invasive reptiles along a canal in Boca Raton on Friday.

He said the iguana situation is unpleasant in South Florida.

“Bad, really bad. We’re seeing an increase in the numbers,” Kavashansky said. “One female can lay up to 80 eggs.”

He expects an explosion of iguanas in a couple of months. Yet, he doesn’t expect an outbreak in calls this weekend when temperatures drop because he thinks they’re getting acclimated to our tropical weather.

“When I first started this company years ago, if it was in the 40s or 50s, we would get reports of iguanas stunned on the ground, and we’d go out there and pick them up,” Kavashansky said. “Now there’s not that many reports.”

While WPTV was out on the hunt for iguanas with Kavashansky, he did get a couple of shots off at a few of the reptiles, but the pesky critters escaped.

Callie Carpenter with the Palm Beach Zoo said iguanas thrive in warm weather.

“When it gets too cold, then their bodies start to slow down too,” Carpenter said. “So, they go into more of a stunned phase until it starts to warm up again.”

She said the iguanas may look dead, but they’re just cold-stunned.

“Their bodies are just trying to conserve energy, so they are very still,” Carpenter said.

Kavashansky said if you see an iguana on the ground, don’t pick it up, it’s a wild animal and it will attack and bite you. The best solution is to call a legal trapper to come pick it up.

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