The Georgia Reptile Society responds to reports of invasive lizard sightings with an offer to help humanely contain these animals through their licensed rescue program

Macon, GA (May 15, 2020) — With a recent influx of news articles about sightings of the tegu, a large South-American lizard, the Georgia Reptile Society has officially formed a “Tegu Task Force”, which operates through their licensed rescue program. This task force, much like the entirety of the organization, is run by volunteers within the organization, and headed by their Adoption Director, Kathy Smith.

"We have known of the issue with tegus for over two years now, and have always offered to help," said Smith. "With the formation of the task force, we hope this will encourage people to reach out, to allow us to help contain the animals humanely, and place them with responsible owners and education programs."

Tegus are a group of lizards from South America that can grow up to 5 feet in length, and are omnivorous. They are also able to withstand large changes in temperature, and are able to survive in many climates. The Georgia Reptile Society has been utilizing tegus in their education outreach programs since their founding in 2012, and have many members who keep these animals as members of their families safely and responsibly.

"We do not want to see this situation escalate into unnecessary use of lethal weapons," said Smith. "We recently heard that some groups are recommending this – and that is not our stance. We urge people to reach out to us for assistance."

If you encounter a tegu in the wild, please send a text and a photo of the animal to (706) 676-4562. The Georgia Reptile Society will be able to identify the animal, and if it is a tegu, will reach out to DNR and prepare to help contain the animal.

If you own a tegu or any other reptile and are unable to keep the animal as a pet, please contact the Georgia Reptile Society Adoptions & Rescue program at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit This program is officially licensed with the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

For detailed information on the Tegu Task Force and the Georgia Reptile Society, please visit

About Georgia Reptile Society: The Georgia Reptile Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that serves the entire state of Georgia. With over 300 active members, their mission is to educate the state of Georgia about the wonderful world of reptiles through outreach, education and social media. The organization promotes the goal of responsible pet ownership and the well-being of species all over the world, and donates to conservation organizations worldwide, whose goals are to keep species of amphibians and reptiles from vanishing, and to promote further conservation efforts. The Georgia Reptile Society Adoptions and Rescue Program is the only GDA-licensed reptile-only rescue in Georgia. For more information, please visit

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For More Information:
Justyne Lobello | Georgia Reptile Society
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