Sightings of ravenous 4-foot lizards surge in southeastern US

Sightings of ravenous 4-foot lizards surge in southeastern US

A species of large ravenous reptiles are popping up in large numbers in the southeastern US, after escaping or being released from captivity.

The Argentine black-and-white tegu can grow up to four feet in length and is distinguished by its spotted scales. Scientists say it is a voracious omnivore that eats everything in sight, posing a threat to farmers and native species in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.

Argentine tegus have been breeding in South Florida for more than a decade, but have recently been spotted in Georgia and South Carolina for the first time after escaping captivity or being released by pet owners, according to National Geographic.

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There have been other isolated sightings across the deep South, leaving biologists to conclude the creatures have been breeding far beyond the Everglades.

The South American reptiles are known to eat anything with nutritional value that they can fit in their mouth — meaning animal eggs, birds, reptiles

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