Friday, January 04, 2008

Frozen Iguanas in Florida

The Miami Herald reported yesterday on some frozen iguanas.

Wednesday night's bitter cold came like a giant Sominex for the tree-dwelling iguanas of South Florida.

When the temperature falls below a certain level, the large green lizards drop out of the trees and litter the ground.

They aren't dead. At least a lot of them aren't. It is as if they are in suspended animation, said Robert Yero, park manager at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne.

''We have found dozens on the bike path after a major cold snap,'' said Yero. ``When they warm up in the sun, they come back to life.''

Yero isn't too fond of the comatose critters. They are exotics from Central and South America, brought in as pets and then released to the wilds by their owners when they got too big for the house.

They munch on the foliage, literally nipping in the bud efforts to revive native vegetation.

''They really are taking over,'' Yero said.

Here's what I don't understand. If these iguanas aren't supposed to be here and they're taking over, why doesn't Yero collect them from the ground in their frozen state and deport the darn things? Why let them warm up and come back to life to continue maurading the native vegetation?

Sometimes park managers make no sense.

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