Giant lizards are the next thing that 2020 is throwing at us in the Southeast United States. 

Argentine black and white tegus are an invasive species of lizard that threaten wildlife in two southeast Georgia counties — Toombs and Tattnall. 

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), these giant creatures can grow up to 4 feet long and weigh 10 pounds or more.

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[Tegus] can top 4 feet long, sprint nearly 20 mph and gobble up everything from grasshoppers to young gopher tortoises. Georgia DNR

Native to South America, tegus are "fast-moving, terrestrial lizards" that occupy woodland areas and disturbed habitats such as forest clearings and roadsides. 

Tegus have sharp teeth & claws, strong jaws, and lash with their tails. 

They are not considered aggressive towards people, but will defend themselves if threatened and can react very quickly.

This species of lizard can also multiply quickly because they have few predators and females lay up to 35 eggs per year. 

The DNR needs the public's help to stop tegu population growth in Georgia and asks that if you see any in the wild, dead or alive, to take a photo if possible and report the sighting to gainvasives@dnr.ga.gov or call (478) 994-1438.