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Wildlife agencies ask for reports of giant, invasive lizard sightings

Wildlife agencies are asking people to report sightings of a large, invasive lizard species that has been found in South Carolina and Georgia.
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 1:55 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina/AP) - Wildlife agencies are asking people to report sightings of a large, invasive lizard species that has been found in South Carolina and Georgia.

The South American tegu is a black and white lizard that can grow up to 4 feet long and weigh 10 pounds.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources said they’re trying to locate and remove tegus from the state before they increase in number and threaten native wildlife.

The lizards eat other reptiles and the eggs of ground-nesting birds like turkeys and quail. They also carry salmonella.

Recently, tegus have been documented in numerous South Carolina counties, including Greenville County.

SC DNR is also working to remove tegus from the wild.

They are often kept as pets and owners of black and white tegus are required to register them in South Carolina.

South Carolina DNR said if you see a tegu lizard in the wild, report it using this form.

You can also report sightings to the Georgia Invasive Species Task Force here.