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When iguanas fall from trees, some Floridians fire up their grills

The invasive reptiles have been dubbed the “chicken of the trees.”
Credit: AP
A green iguana rests on a tree stump at C.B. Smith park on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

MIAMI — A scaly creature that feels right at home in the Florida heat simply can’t stand a little cold snap. 

Iguanas get stunned when temperatures plunge below 40, and they fall from trees all over the state.

For some people, it’s an amusing display of survival. For others, it’s a delicious sight.

Yes, Floridians have a taste for iguana meat. Well, some of us do.

The Sun-Sentinel reported in 2018 that “chicken of the trees” – or “pollo de los árboles,” in Spanish -- is actually a staple food across the Caribbean because it contains more protein than chicken. Some cultures even believe it possesses medicinal properties.

So, on a cold Wednesday morning, some people were found selling iguana meat on Facebook Marketplace.

 “You know it’s cold when Facebook Marketplace got garrobo meat for sale #BecauseMiami #ChickenOfTheTrees,” Cocaine Cowboys director Billy Corben wrote on Twitter.

RELATED: Photos: Frozen iguanas fall from trees as cold weather grips Florida

A professor of wildlife ecology at the UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center in Davie, Fla. told the Miami Herald iguanas are completely safe to eat, if they come from a reputable source.

“They are excellent to taste, and they are a great source of food,” Frank Mazzotti said.

RELATED: Falling iguana warning: These guys could fall from the trees in the Florida cold!

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