South Florida is full of reptiles, crocodiles, and pythons. But there's a big reptile called the Argentine black-and-white Tegu invading South Florida. These reptiles are becoming a problem for residents in Tampa and Homestead.
Tegu lizards are threatening generation of species and becoming a problem in South Florida. Tegus are a menace to the ecosystem as they eat about anything. Especially, their favorite diet: eggs. According to Rodney Irwin, a native of Homestead, these lizards eat crocodiles and flamingo eggs.
What's more surprising is that the tegu reptile reproduces fast and it's been difficult to reduce the number of Tegus in the environment.
There are about fifty traps around Homestead where the Tegus reside. Homestead is already infested with other reptiles such as pythons but the Tegus are growing rapidly. Irwin has been able to catch hundred of Tegus and he keeps them in his backyard to control the proliferation of these animals.
The Tegus can be more dangerous than pythons in the Everglades. They measure up to 2 meters long and they bite pretty hard. Some people have reported severe injury by Tegu bites. These lizards can definitely slice through flesh and snap a finger right off if you're not careful.
But for some people, these reptiles are their friends. Nobody knows exactly how they arrived in South Florida but some are acquiring these reptiles as pets. Tegus are native to Central America and South America, and their tongue looks like a snake.
If you have a neighbor with a tegu maybe you want to consider keeping your furry friends inside. After all, we don't want these reptiles causing more trouble.