As colder temperatures arrive, people and animals alike look for ways to keep warm

DAVIE, Fla. – South Floridians are breaking out their winter clothes as the first chilly weather in nine months has arrived.

A usual indication that temperatures are dropping in Miami is when there’s a line outside La Palma on Southwest 8th Street.

Residents came out in full force for their hot chocolate and deep-fried churros, as outdoor heaters were turned on for those in line.

It’s not just people that need protection from the cold, but animals as well.

In some backyards, we watch for frozen, falling iguanas. Any experienced South Floridian knows they’ll be fine, they just have to thaw out again.

Other animals need a little TLC, though.

At Flamingo Gardens in Davie, native species like alligators and Ibis are handling the chill just fine, but workers are cranking up the heaters for the exotic birds like Tiki the Toucan.

“We’re not too worried about their bodies getting cold. It’s more about their face and their beak,” said specialist Shannon Gallagher.

They’re also spreading some hay for their bobcats to have a warm bed.

The cold can come with hazards, too. Local fire officials are warning residents to inspect any space heaters before using them.

“Never run cords under rugs or carpets,” said Erika Benitez with Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. “Please keep your heating equipment at least three feet away from anything that can possibly burn.”

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