3 Dozen Exotic Tegu Lizards Captured in Panama City Neighborhood

Officials are looking for more tegu lizards that may be on the loose.

View Comments (


    State wildlife officials say almost three dozen exotic lizards have been captured in a Florida Panhandle neighborhood where a licensed seller abandoned them.

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission staff captured 33 black-and-white tegu lizards this week in a Panama City neighborhood.

    Investigator Jerry Shores says the lizards appeared after a previous resident licensed to sell tegus left town and abandoned them. Releasing exotic species into the wild in Florida is illegal.

    Shores said most of the South American lizards were found in a fenced-in yard. Most measured up to 4 feet in length and weighed up to 30 pounds.

    Ron Magill: Loose Lemurs Highlight Bigger Animal Problem

    [MI] Ron Magill: Loose Lemurs Highlight Bigger Animal Problem
    Zoo Miami's Ron Magill told NBC 6 South Florida that the escape of lemurs in Miami highlights a serious problem. All too often, Magill said exotic pets make their way through underground networks to owners who don't have the means to care for them.

    Wildlife officials are asking residents to report tegu sightings but to leave capturing them to professionals.

    More Local Stories: