By Joe Johnson
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is warning that regulated reptiles must be tagged after an invasive lizard was found in Athens.
Argentine black and white tegus are native to South America and came to the United States through the pet trade, according to the DNR, which said that the lizards have established wild populations in Florida and southeast Georgia.
The three-food-long tegu that was found in Athens had been the porch of someone's home and no one claimed the lizard after it was trapped and given to the DNR.
Tegus are one of six reptile species that must be tagged with a transponder and registered with DNR by Dec. 3. The others are Nile monitors, African helmeted turtles, Chinese softshell turtles and Indian rock and Burmese pythons.
After the deadline, the DNR said , “animals not tagged and registered can be possessed only by a license or permit for scientific, educational or public exhibition purposes.”