Friday, March 31

Florida man traps over 100 invasive tegu lizards

INDIAN RIVER LAGOON, Fla. — Some people spend their retirement traveling the world or relaxing at home. Sid Pennington spends his trapping the invasive lizards threatening native wildlife in his community.

Pennington, 60, has singlehandedly captured at least 117 Argentine black and white tegus from the woods and neighborhoods in western Fort Pierce where he lives.

In September, after the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission saw how skilled Pennington was at catching nonnative tegus on his own, biologists lent him 20 traps and recruited him as a volunteer. He’s caught 31 this year alone.

“I grew up being a big reptile guy,” said Pennington, a former employee at the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant. His first catch of him was a female tegu in 2019, measuring just under 4 feet long. “I don’t want them to be here. But it’s fun.”

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