Man saves 233 iguanas from frigid weather

MIAMI (WSVN) - A man embarked on a rescue mission to save as many South Florida iguanas as possible from the cold, and he was able to bring more than 200 of the reptiles to safety.

Twenty-four-year-old Michael Holston spent Thursday night boating through South Florida canals. 7News cameras captured him rescuing an iguana.

“I know, buddy, it’s freaking cold out here, dude,” he said as he grabbed a green iguana from a tree branch.

He decided to gather the non-native species, because when temperatures drop, they become paralyzed by the cold. “If they fall in the water, they are going to die,” he said. “It breaks my heart because I’m an animal lover, and I just try my best to help.”

On Thursday night, he helped 233 iguanas. He brought them home, where he put them in bins and pillowcases.

Quite a few of the reptiles he took home are not small. “That’s a five-foot, another six-foot, another six-foot,” he said as he showed the covered animals to 7News.

Holston said he planned ahead about what he would do once he brought in the iguanas. He indicated he will find a home for every single one of them, adding that 69 of them are already spoken for.

“People all over the world. The internet helps me,” he said. “It could go from a baby to an adult iguana. They get homes, every single one of them.”

Holston shares his missions with more than 440,000 followers on Instagram, where he’s known as “The Real Tarzann.”

“Not all heroes wear capes,” he said in a video posted to his Instagram account.

Soon he’ll have more stories to tell, as he heads out to rescue more iguanas, Friday night. This is expected to be the final night of the cold snap in South Florida.

“We’re animals lovers, whether they’re invasive or not,” he said.

He’ll be rounding up more scaly creatures, even the bigger ones, which are not exactly a South Florida favorite.

To Holston, these are lives worth saving. “It makes me happy, very happy,” he said. “I love it.”

Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.