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Large, Invasive Lizard Taking Over Parts of Florida
WZZM ^ | February 26, 2014

Posted on 03/01/2014 3:45:16 PM PST by nickcarraway

The Tampa Bay area seems to be a fertile breeding ground for an exotic lizard that wildlife officials want to keep from becoming the state's next invasive species problem.

More than 100 black-and-white tegu lizards have been spotted in Hillsborough County, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The area is now considered home to one of three tegu breeding populations in the state.

Wildlife officials have spotted more than 100 of them between Riverview and Gibsonton. The animals, which are native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, do not belong in the habitat in southwest Florida, and FWC is concerned about animals that call the area home losing their habitat because of the invasive lizards.

"People buy these cute little lizards at the pet store and then they grow to be too big for an aquarium and they are too expensive to feed and then they just set them free in the preserves," said FWC biologist, Tessie Offner.

Offner has spent the last three years catching tegus, which can grow to 4 feet long. They have no known predators according to the FWC.

"They produce rapidly, laying between 25-50 eggs at a time," said Offner. "They eat everything from plants to other animals with bones and shells- also amphibians, and birds."

She said their stomachs contains an acidic liquid that can dissolve animal bones and shells, like the gopher tortoise's, within days and it comes out like they never ate anything solid.

"We had a whole gopher turtle preserve on our 1,100 acres and now they are all gone," said volunteer horse rescue worker, Marvel Stewart. "We see four to five a week on our property."

Stewart lives in Lithia along with other homeowners who have been reported sightings of the lizards.

"One got into our horse shed, and thankfully the horse was not in there at the time, but if it had been it would have been bad because the horse would have bucked, and possibly hurt herself trying to run from the lizard," said Stewart.

The FWC has set 28 traps in the parkland and dozens more on private property to help catch them.

They lure the lizards in with a raw chicken egg and then trap them and humanely euthanize them.


TOPICS: Local News; Outdoors; Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: florida; floriduh; lizards; tampa

1 posted on 03/01/2014 3:45:16 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

if they paid those rednecks down there, $10 buck a lizard, there wouldn’t be one left for a 1000 miles.


2 posted on 03/01/2014 3:48:02 PM PST by qaz123
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To: nickcarraway

Ya’ mean Mooch-elle flew down there? Horrors!


3 posted on 03/01/2014 3:48:21 PM PST by laweeks
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To: nickcarraway

Yep!

4 posted on 03/01/2014 3:49:06 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Sarah Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: nickcarraway

Now why would a TV station in Grand Rapids Michigan do this story???


5 posted on 03/01/2014 3:49:35 PM PST by Paul46360
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To: laweeks

I was picturing Bill Clinton.


6 posted on 03/01/2014 3:50:07 PM PST by Hardastarboard (The question of our age is whether a majority of Americans can and will vote us all into slavery.)
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To: nickcarraway

“humanly euthanized them”.....

Whatta waste...chop their heads off and save time and money!


7 posted on 03/01/2014 3:52:35 PM PST by G Larry (Did You Like That Better?)
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To: nickcarraway

Tegu’s are nasty bastards


8 posted on 03/01/2014 3:54:32 PM PST by cmsgop ( The left always accuses the right for the sins of the left. from FReeper Just Lori, RIP)
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Less than $4.3k to go!!

9 posted on 03/01/2014 4:19:28 PM PST by RedMDer (May we always be happy and may our enemies always know it. - Sarah Palin, 10-18-2010)
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To: cmsgop

Tegu’s are nasty bastards


Edible and tender too......


10 posted on 03/01/2014 4:25:14 PM PST by S.O.S121.500 (Had Enough Yet ? ........................ Enforce the Bill of Rights ......... It's the LAW !!!)
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To: nickcarraway
".....The animals, which are native to Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina, do not belong in the habitat in southwest Florida, and..."

and Liberals don't belong in the habitat of the United States of America (which has nothing to do with this article, but I thought I'd mention it).

11 posted on 03/01/2014 4:35:06 PM PST by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will. They ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: nickcarraway

12 posted on 03/01/2014 4:38:41 PM PST by Doomonyou (Let them eat Lead.)
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To: nickcarraway

Shoot them. Target practice. Load up and let em have it!


13 posted on 03/01/2014 4:48:41 PM PST by Nuc 1.1 (Nuc 1 Liberals aren't Patriots. Remember 1789!)
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To: cmsgop
In that case, lets hope they aren't exposed to radiation.
14 posted on 03/01/2014 4:53:55 PM PST by Redcitizen (When a zombie apocalypse starts, Chuck Norris doesn't try to survive. The zombies do.)
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To: nickcarraway

Convince the Japanese that they’re an aphrodisiac. They’ll be hunted to extinction in no time.


15 posted on 03/01/2014 4:54:46 PM PST by sphinx
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To: qaz123

That’s way too sensible a solution for modern state DNRs.


16 posted on 03/01/2014 4:54:59 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: qaz123

Open a Lizard Dog fast food joint and make a fortune.


17 posted on 03/01/2014 4:57:01 PM PST by bgill
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To: nickcarraway

I thought this was about Valeria Jarrett.

Now is the time to allow anyone and everyone to kill them. If neccessary, pay bounties on these things.


18 posted on 03/01/2014 4:57:24 PM PST by VerySadAmerican (".....Barrack, and the horse Mohammed rode in on.")
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To: rockinqsranch
Hey, it's a great point. Liberalism is completely alien and antagonistic to our founding principles, and has no place here. I wish we could find a good way to “humanely euthanize” it...
19 posted on 03/01/2014 5:01:08 PM PST by Yardstick
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To: S.O.S121.500

That’s the way to go! Get a Food Network chef to come up with a recipe, like a creole, and market it as a delicacy.


20 posted on 03/01/2014 5:05:29 PM PST by kdot
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To: rockinqsranch

The only reason Florida does not have more tropical species is that the last ice age wiped them out and they have not been able to make it back through Mexico, Texas, and the Gulf Coast - YET. There are a lot of unfilled habitat niches in Florida and they will be filled one where the other. You can’t freeze nature into place.


21 posted on 03/01/2014 5:06:41 PM PST by WMarshal (Free citizen, never a subject or a civilian)
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To: Paul46360
Now why would a TV station in Grand Rapids Michigan do this story???

You can only do so many stories on ice, snow and cold over the past two months before people start yawning with boredom...........

22 posted on 03/01/2014 5:14:54 PM PST by Hot Tabasco (SO)
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To: FreedomPoster

A good liberal solution would be to import anacondas to eat them... Never let a crisis go to waste.


23 posted on 03/01/2014 5:18:56 PM PST by antidisestablishment (Islam delenda est)
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To: kdot

That’s the way to go! Get a Food Network chef to come up with a recipe, like a creole, and market it as a delicacy.


South and Central Americans consider it a delicacy and I now find the leather is w a y expensive. Sounds like an ‘exotic’ industry for FloriDuh.


24 posted on 03/01/2014 5:26:41 PM PST by S.O.S121.500 (Had Enough Yet ? ........................ Enforce the Bill of Rights ......... It's the LAW !!!)
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To: nickcarraway

Better kill them as quick as possible before PETA or some Progressive group gets them on the endangered species list to block any and all economic activity .... just because they are undocumented illegal lizards means nothing to Progressives!


25 posted on 03/01/2014 5:55:00 PM PST by RetiredTexasVet (WWP and Paralyed Veterans Assoc. doing the work the U.S. Veterans Administration won't do!)
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To: nickcarraway

Just doing the jobs US lizards won’t do!


26 posted on 03/01/2014 5:55:59 PM PST by RetiredTexasVet (WWP and Paralyed Veterans Assoc. doing the work the U.S. Veterans Administration won't do!)
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To: nickcarraway
Large, Invasive Lizard Taking Over Parts of Florida


27 posted on 03/01/2014 6:00:17 PM PST by yefragetuwrabrumuy (WoT News: Rantburg.com)
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To: Redcitizen

Yeah, I thought at first this was a teaser for the new Godzilla movie coming out in May.


28 posted on 03/01/2014 6:20:35 PM PST by PLMerite
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To: nickcarraway
Black and white tegus are the largest of the tegus. They are mainly from Argentina, but some are also found in Uruguay and Brazil. Someone who is now not with us any more used to raise tegus and other large lizards at a compound in Alabama, where he raised them outdoors. So, it's no surprise that they are thriving in Florida.

Here is a photo of a full grown b/w tegu with a ranger to show you how big they are:


29 posted on 03/01/2014 6:21:31 PM PST by EinNYC
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To: EinNYC

Am I correct in saying, then, that the lizards are not dangerous to humans?


30 posted on 03/01/2014 6:38:27 PM PST by upchuck (South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy for Speaker of the House!!!)
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To: upchuck
Am I correct in saying, then, that the lizards are not dangerous to humans?

No. They area safe for grown humans, but they eat cats and small dogs. :-)

31 posted on 03/01/2014 6:46:06 PM PST by zeugma (Is it evil of me to teach my bird to say "here kitty, kitty"?)
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To: cmsgop
"Tegu’s are nasty bastards"

Chuck Norris uses live Tegus for condoms.

32 posted on 03/01/2014 6:49:58 PM PST by Joe 6-pack (Qui me amat, amat et canem meum.)
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To: qaz123

Agree.


33 posted on 03/01/2014 7:01:01 PM PST by OldNewYork
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To: S.O.S121.500

Iguana tastes nice but is a bit tough. Marinated and then put on the BBQ it is great.

How do these things taste? If they taste like Iguana there is a solution?


34 posted on 03/01/2014 10:23:04 PM PST by cpdiii (Deckhand, Roughneck, Mud Man, Geologist, Pilot, Pharmacist. THE CONSTITUTION IS WORTH DYING FOR!)
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To: upchuck

A guy I know raises them and they are very docile around humans as long as they are well fed.

He’s got one that is older and it is more like a dog than a lizard. It follows people around looking for treats. Not saying they aren’t a disaster in some places, but under the right circumstances, they are probably the best large lizard to keep as a pet. Far better than an iguana.


35 posted on 03/01/2014 10:29:19 PM PST by MediaMole
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To: Hot Tabasco

I know...was born/raised in GR..now live in NW Indiana..Chicago stations seem to be running a loop of snow stories!!!


36 posted on 03/02/2014 9:55:59 AM PST by Paul46360
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To: Redcitizen
ahem


37 posted on 03/02/2014 9:59:22 AM PST by Godzilla (3/7/77)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy
Oh I remember that movie.

Freaked me out when the monster bit the head off the cop trying to shoot it with his revolver.

38 posted on 03/02/2014 10:02:34 AM PST by mware
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To: nickcarraway

They taste like chicken. It’s illegal to harm them. Spread the word.


39 posted on 03/02/2014 11:15:08 AM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

1953- The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. I remember it well, saw it at the old Fly-In Drive-In (near the local airport).

Full disclosure: I knew 50’s but looked up the year. I turned ten that fall.


40 posted on 03/02/2014 11:20:45 AM PST by JimRed (Excise the cancer before it kills us; feed & water the Tree of Liberty! TERM LIMITS NOW & FOREVER!)
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To: yefragetuwrabrumuy

Harryhausen’s first solo movie.


41 posted on 03/02/2014 11:22:31 AM PST by 4yearlurker (Some people say that experts agree!!)
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To: antidisestablishment
A good liberal solution would be to import anacondas to eat them... Never let a crisis go to waste.
How about Burmese pythons?


42 posted on 03/02/2014 11:35:23 AM PST by Bratch
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To: Godzilla

My what big teeth you have. :) What’s your opinion about the new movie coming out?


43 posted on 03/02/2014 4:27:51 PM PST by Redcitizen (When a zombie apocalypse starts, Chuck Norris doesn't try to survive. The zombies do.)
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To: Redcitizen

looks dynamic.


44 posted on 03/03/2014 7:33:49 AM PST by Godzilla (3/7/77)
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