This winter, Florida’s iguanas are again freezing and falling out of trees like lizard-cicles. When I wrote about this problem 2 years ago, I called them rebels without a cause because they’re not native to Florida and they have no purpose in the U.S. except to be a nuisance.
Well, it seems they’ve found a cause.
Dead, they stink to high heaven and their carcasses spawn an organism called Clostridium botulinum, which causes botulism.
Dogs apparently find dead iguanas irresistible, so they’ve been munching and rolling all over the corpses. Then the dogs develop paralysis in their hind legs that can spread and prove fatal unless they get quick medical treatment.
This bacteria in the iguanas is the same one used to make Botox, so I’m thinking there may be a divine master plan at work here. Think about it: The only thing more plentiful than iguanas in Florida is wrinkly people. They could be recruited to gather dead iguanas for processing into Botox, being paid by the tail for their catch to supplement their Social Security benefits.
Botox would then be so plentiful, seniors could get injections dirt-cheap with their iguana profits. By spring, the population of Florida would look so incredibly youthful, the state would lose its reputation as God’s waiting room.
It’s not exactly the Fountain of Youth Ponce de Leon had in mind, but it would keep the iguanas from dying in vain and protect the dogs.