JERSEYVILLE - Jerseyville is a city where neighbors help neighbors in their times of need. A pet lizard was on the loose recently, slivering through the city before Midwest Tropical Fish responded to a few calls and rescued the Argentine black and white tegu.

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Midwest Tropical Fish dispatched a person named Billy to the scene and he brought a three-and-a-half foot pet Argentine black and White tegu lizard back to Midwest Tropical Fish. Midwest Tropical Fish Owner Warren Crabtree said the pet lizard was then reunited with its owners. Crabtree added that he was proud of Billy for the safe rescue and glad to be able to return the exotic pet to the owners.

The lizard was brought to safety close to the Jersey County Sheriff’s Office and Amoco in Jerseyville, Crabtree said.

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While the lizard only roamed for a brief time in Jerseyville, it certainly roused attention. Multiple people called Midwest Tropical Fish about the lizard on the loose that day.

Crabtree said his business occasionally gets calls for rescue attempts of species that are not well-known in the area. Another instance was a couple of years ago when Brenda and Chris Lorton discovered a six-foot-plus iguana left in an apartment. Crabtree's staff made the trek over to the apartments and then rescued the iguana.

The Argentine black and white tegu is a species of lizard in the family Teiidae. The species is the largest of the tegu lizards. It is an omnivorous species that typically inhabits the tropic rain forests, savannas and semi-deserts of eastern and central South America. Tegus are sometimes kept as pets by humans and are noted for their high intelligence.

“It was all good,” Crabtree said, who was happy the exotic pet was returned to its rightful owners. “We were glad to help.”

The lizard on the loose in Jerseyville.

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