Florida wildlife officials seek three dozen Tegu lizards abandoned in Florida neighborhood

33 black-and-white Tegu lizards captured

PANAMA CITY (AP) -- 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.

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

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