ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Many times when a person buys an exotic pet, they realize the commitment was more than they expected. This sometimes leads to non-native species being released into the wild – or sometimes into an urban area.
At the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, workers are trying to trap two tegu lizards before they reproduce.
Tegus are an invasive species from South America - not usually found in Florida. The lizards can grow up to 4 feet and are known to have a bad attitude.
The folks at Boyd Hill think lazy pet owners dumped them when they realized tegus are hard to take care of.
"Not sure whether these are first-generation in the wild or hatched by others that are dumped here," said Jason Cowen with Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.
On Saturday, May 19, the preserve will host what's called Exotic Pet Amnesty Day, where anyone who has an exotic pet, even if it's illegal, can turn it over to Florida Fish and Wildlife officials - no questions asked.