Five Things to Know in Florida for April 18

IN SOUTH FLORIDA, GREEN IGUANAS SPREAD INTO SUBURBAN SCOURGE

Perched in trees and scampering down sidewalks, green iguanas have become so common across South Florida that many see them not as exotic invaders, but as reptilian squirrels. Native to Central and South America, green iguanas that escaped or were dumped as pets have been breeding in the Miami suburbs and the Keys for at least a decade without making headlines like other voracious invasive reptiles such as Burmese pythons or black-and-white tegu lizards.

COURT SIDES WITH REPTILE KEEPERS AGAINST GIANT SNAKE BAN

An appeals court has sided with the reptile industry, ruling that the federal government cannot legally stop trade of Burmese pythons and other giant exotic snakes within the continental U.S. Snake owners are cautioned not to move their reptiles just yet, however, as other legal challenges may remain.

NASA PROVIDING 1ST LIVE 360-DEGREE VIEW OF ROCKET LAUNCH

Want the world’s best, up-close view of a rocket launch without being right there at the pad? For the first time, cameras will provide live 360-degree video of a rocket heading toward space. NASA will provide the 360 stream Tuesday as an unmanned Atlas rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with a capsule full of space station supplies. The stream will begin 10 minutes before the scheduled 11:11 a.m. liftoff and continue until the rocket is out of sight.

8-YEAR-OLD SWIMMER MISSING OFF FLORIDA’S ATLANTIC COAST

An 8-year-old boy is missing after swimming in rough surf off Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Volusia County Ocean Rescue Deputy Liz Driskell tells local news outlets the search ended at sundown Sunday and will resume Monday morning. The boy was playing in the surf off New Smyrna Beach on Saturday afternoon when the strong currents pulled him out into deeper water.

RESIDENTS WARNED TO PREPARE AS OKEFENOKEE FIRE GROWS

South Georgia residents on the western edge of the Okefenokee Swamp are being warned to prepare for potential evacuations as a wildfire that has burned 31 square miles (80 square km) near the Georgia-Florida line keeps growing. Sparked by lightning April 6 in the Okefenokee National Wildlife refuge, the fire more than doubled in size over the weekend on nearby public land as strong winds fanned the blaze. It covered 20,162 acres (80 square km) Monday.

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