An invasive species of lizard has been spotted in Georgia. Residents are urged to report it and kill it

An invasive South American lizard that Georgia authorities are trying to eradicate has been sighted for the third year in a row, a reptile conservation group has said. Facebook post. Georgia’s Ministry of Natural Resources said the Argentine lizards, which have established themselves in Tattnall and Toombs counties, likely originated in the state as escaped pets or were released into the wild. “Many audiences who encounter them often report them, thinking they look like a baby alligator far out of water,” John Jensen, an official with Georgia’s Ministry of Natural Resources, said in a YouTube video posted May 8. . “They eat pretty much anything they want, plant and animal matter,” Jensen added. The tegus, which can grow up to 4 feet long, poses a threat to protected native wildlife, including American alligators and gopher tortoises. Black and white tegus have been documented using gopher turtle burrows and eating turtle and alligator eggs, as well as young turtles. Common pets, including cats and dogs, Georgia officials advise people against leaving pet food outside because it can attract the lizard into homes. The tegus, which has also been found in parts of Florida, can live up to 20 years and lay up to 35 eggs each year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The Orianne company said it was essential to remove them early before they had a chance to spread quickly. ”

An invasive South American lizard that Georgia authorities are trying to eradicate has been sighted for the third year in a row, a reptile conservation group has said.

The lizard – known as a tegus – was recently found in Tattnall County, Georgia, the Orianne Company announced on Facebook on Monday. Publish. The Georgian Ministry of Natural Resources said the Argentine lizards, which have established themselves in Tattnall and Toombs counties, likely originated in the state as escaped pets or were released into the wild.

“Many people who encounter them often report them, thinking they look like a baby alligator far out of water,” John Jensen, an official with Georgia’s Ministry of Natural Resources, said in a statement. Youtube video released May 8.

“They eat pretty much anything they want, plant and animal matter,” Jensen added.

The tegus, which can grow up to 4 feet long, poses a threat to protected native wildlife, including American alligators and gopher tortoises. Black and white tegus have been documented using gopher tortoise burrows and eating tortoise and alligator eggs, as well as young tortoises.

Related video: Giant 4ft long rainforest lizard found wandering in London park

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Although they have not been a threat to humans and common pets, including cats and dogs, Georgia authorities are advising people not to leave pet food out as it can attract the lizard in people.

The tegus, which has also been found in parts of Florida, can live up to 20 years and lay up to 35 eggs each year, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The Orianne company said it was essential to remove them early before they had a chance to spread quickly.

Jensen said people should report sightings of the lizard to the state Department of Natural Resources and kill them if they can do so “safely and humanely.”

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