SAVANNAH, Ga. (CNN) – First, there were Murder Hornets. Now, there’s the Argentine Black and White Tegus.
Georgia officials are working to completely eradicate the invasive lizard, which they say poses a major threat to some of the state’s native wildlife.
A Department of Natural Resources biologist says they can grow up to four feet and can eat “just about anything they want.” They will eat the eggs of ground-nesting birds, including quail and turkeys, and other reptiles, such as American alligators and gopher tortoises, which are both protected species. They can also eat fruit, vegetables, pet food, insects and small animals.
The Argentine Black and White Tegus multiplies fast and doesn’t have a lot of predators. They also use the burrows of other animals and displace them.
The giant lizards are native to South America, weigh about 10 pounds and live up to 20 years.
Georgia officials are asking the public to report any sightings to help them track and eradicate them.