Monitors as a pet :
Keeping A Monitor Lizard :
Monitor Lizards are a beautiful and unusual pet. Monitors come from the same genus as Komodo Dragons, and are incredibly intelligent. Some can even count! They are becoming a popular pet for those who like observing animal behaviour, and looking after unusual breeds.
Do your research before you buy!
There are many species of Monitor Lizard, some of which grow up to 7 feet long. Unless you are planning to buy a large tank or constantly upgrade it, you should make sure you are
buying a lizard which grows to a size you can cope with. The Bosc Monitor Lizard is very popular among beginners, as they grow between 3 and 5 feet in length.
Monitor Lizards are solitary creatures, so do not need to live in pairs. You shouldn’t keep them with any other species, as they are likely to attack and kill them.
hey are not ideal as a pet for children. As well as growing to a large size quickly, they have incredibly sharp claws, with strong tails that can sting. They can be quite aggressive as they get older, so need careful handling. Their bite is very strong, and it can be hard to unattach their jaws once bitten.
Monitor Lizards are ideal for people who love to observe animal behaviour. They are very active, and come in a variety of beautiful colours. They are incredibly clever, so you must be prepared to exercise their brains.
Always research where you plan to buy your lizard. Many now come up for adoption as people are not prepared for their rate of growth, so there are many that will need homes. Breeders will also be able to show you the parents and advise you on any special dietary requirements. Always make sure your lizard is healthy before you purchase. Check that the eyes are clear, and there are no injuries on the body or legs that may cause problems.
What size tank do they need?
Monitor Lizards grow very quickly, so it advised to get a large tank straight away so you don’t have to replace it often. The recommended size is 8 feet by 5 feet. You will need to separate the tank into different areas – lizards love to bask so one end should be 35 degrees C, preferably with a UV light so they can also develop strong bones and grow quickly. The cooler area should be around 30 degrees C. Make sure you can control the temperature and drop it at night, replicating their natural environment.
Monitors are messy eaters, and as they eat so much they will need their tank cleaning very regularly. Some owners use newspaper or paper towelling which is easy to remove. Gravel or wood chippings are much more natural, but be careful that the lizard doesn’t accidentally eat any.
Provide a large dish filled with water so your lizard can bath often. Make sure it is easy to remove, as it will need cleaning regularly.
Make sure your terrarium is made of very solid material. Monitor lizards can destroy screens, and escape from anything that isn’t 100% secure. These lizards love to climb, so find large pieces of wood which they can clamber up – the wood may need to be disinfected if found in a local wood. Also provide different levels to hide food, and for the lizard to investigate. Places should also be provided for your lizard to hide in and sleep. Even a lizard needs privacy!
What can they eat?
All Monitor Lizards are carnivores, who rely on their senses to hunt their prey. As a result, they prefer their food to be alive. This keeps them active, in body and mind. Most Monitor Lizards will eat a diet of small rodents, but their diet should not just be this. They can also eat eggs, insects, earthworms, and even goldfish. Monitors are not fussy at all, and are prone to obesity so be careful not to overfeed them.
When feeding you lizard, be careful when offering them food. Monitor Lizards have an extremely strong bite, and their salvia is toxic. Use tongs to offer them food, or hide it in different places and levels within the terrarium. This will encourage your lizard to behave as it would it the wild.
Be very careful if you own other pets. Monitor Lizards will attack anything they think they can overpower – this includes your household pets. Make sure you keep an eye on your lizard, and keep the tank sealed when you are not around.
Monitor Lizards are not an animal to get if you want a tame pet to pick up and hold often. They are very independent. They react aggressively to any fear stimulus, so their large claws will scratch deeply into your arm. Some species are tamer than others, with the larger varieties being more aggressive. If you get your lizard as a youngster, you will be able to tame them and learn their boundaries – every lizard is different so adapt to their behaviour.
You can let your Monitor Lizard out in the house, but keep them away from other pets in case they view them as prey. Never let your lizard outside, as it will wander and probably escape. Monitor Lizards do swim. You can let them swim laps in your bath, which is extremely good if you notice your lizard is getting a little fat.
If you do let your Monitor out, make sure you plan carefully how to catch them. They are fast and intelligent, so can escape you easily. If you grab them not only could you hurt them, they will most definitely hurt you. Look for places they could climb or hide in around your room. Block any holes, and remove any objects you don’t want destroying. Leave the terrarium open so they can return if they feel threatened. Encourage them with food to return after a certain period of time out. As they become tamer, and used to the routine, it will become easier to manage.
Monitor lizard: good family pet?
It was a scene right out of Godzilla when a 5-foot-long monitor lizard was wandering a condo complex in Riverside, Calif., yesterday. Residents were reportedly “freaking out” when they spotted the massive reptile lumbering down the sidewalk. Animal services came to the rescue and put a leash around the black-throated monitor’s neck, and it started hissing and lashing its tail.
Authorities think the lizard was someone’s escaped pet, and this led me to think more deeply about my 6-year-old son’s recent request for a lizard. Is our family ready for a reptile?
For some advice I gave Owen Maercks a call. He’s the co-owner of the East Bay Vivarium in Berkeley, what’s likely the best place to purchase a reptile in the Bay Area. I started by asking questions about monitor lizards and then requested tips on buying lizards for kids.
Do you carry monitor lizards? At any time we have at least 10 of them in the store. They’re a big family of lizards. Some are as little as 2 feet long. The crocodile monitor can get up to 16 feet long and we carry them. Most are carnivorous.
Are monitor lizards safe pets? Again, it’s a large, diverse group of lizards. Some are virtually untameable while others are perfectly safe to keep as pets.
The lizard in Riverside was a black-throated monitor. Do you carry those?
We have one. Elmo is 6 feet long and he goes with us to preschools and birthday parties. We’ve worked with him and he’s friendly, but black-throated monitors aren’t naturally tame.
Wild monitor lizards don’t make good pets.
Let’s say a 6-year-old boy comes into the store and he’s ready to adopt his first lizard. Would you recommend a monitor? That’s not where I’d start.
Where would you start? There are four lizards that I like to recommend as first lizards. The leopard gecko can grow up to about 9 inches long. They’re naturally docile and hearty. Crested geckos are the up-and-coming pet. They’re as cute as a button and reasonably easy to handle. Bearded Dragons are our most popular lizard. They grow to about 12 to 14 inches. They’re an Australian lizard and sweet-natured. And then there are blue tongue skinks, which are also good-natured. Like all lizards they can eat bugs but people love that you can also feed them canned cat food and snails.
What tips do you have for someone buying her first lizard? Don’t buy it on a whim. Research your source. Avoid buying lizards on Craigslist. Be sure to look at the regime of care required for your lizard. Some require daily feedings while other lizards can be fed a few times a week. And get the lizard your child is in love with. The child needs to be absolutely jazzed about it.
It seems that people are often excited about getting a pet lizard and then they’re disappointed because it doesn’t really do anything. Lizards aren’t mammals. They’re not active. Their job is to do as little as possible all day. People need to realize that there’s a big difference between dogs and lizards. Dogs are substitutes for babies. Lizards aren’t that. A reptile gives you an open invitation into an alien world. I find that people who like lizards are broader thinkers.
Please feel free to share stories about pet lizards, and offer advice to those parents whose children want to adopt a reptile.
Watching T.V. with my Giant Black Throat Monitor
Large Asian Water Monitor Eating Chicken Legs
Monitor Lizards With Phil - Croc Monitor, B&W Tegu, Ackie Or Spiny Tailed Monitor and a Golden Tegu
Other websites :
Bath time for friendly water monitor
Water monitor & iguana eating together
Feeding Monitor Lizards and Establishing Positive Interaction
NOVA | Why Monitor Lizards Make Great Pets
As its name suggests, the black tree monitor is completely black at adulthood, but as a hatchling and sub-adult, this species wears a gray mantle speckled with yellow and cream-colored spots, freckles and ocelli. The teeth of the black tree monitor are long, sharp and curve inward, allowing the animal to better hang on to prey in the canopy with reduced risk of dropping it to the forest floor below. Its diet in the wild includes all manner of invertebrates, rodents, birds, bird eggs, arboreal snakes and other lizard species. While it will descend to the forest floor occasionally, this lizard prefers to hunt, bask and even sleep in the canopy.
Although not as commonly kept as some other monitor species, the black tree monitor makes an excellent pet for the serious herp enthusiast. Growing to a maximum length of less than 48 inches (most adults seldom exceed 36 to 42 inches, the males being the larger of the two sexes), this small monitor species (compared to others) requires a very tall, elaborately furnished enclosure if it is to thrive in the captive environment. I recommend either a custom-built enclosure of not less than 6 feet in height, 5 feet in width and 3 feet in depth, or a similarly sized, all-glass terrarium fitted with a secure, heavy-gauge screen lid.
Furnish the enclosure with several stable climbing branches (affixed to the enclosure walls by screws or bolted into a stable wooden base) and plenty of living or artificial plants and vines to simulate the jungle canopy. Flooring is of minimal concern, as black tree monitors rarely descend to the ground. If you have constructed a large, natural vivarium, then flooring may consist of soil, leaf-litter and/or similar materials to accommodate your pet.
As is true with all monitor species, the more room you can provide your pet, the better. Large, screen-walled habitats with wooden framing and screen roofs (to accommodate overhead lighting apparatus) are the most cost-effective way to house a black tree monitor, but properly maintaining temperature and relative humidity in a screen-walled enclosure can be difficult. Lighting should consist of at least eight hours daily of full-spectrum ultraviolet lighting. Many hobbyists build movable habitats and wheel them outside on sunny days so that the monitor may benefit from natural sunlight. Another option is to have a separate, smaller habitat outside that is very securely built, where you can place your lizard during the day. Make sure it has a shady retreat, so that the monitor may escape the heat of the sun if necessary. Never leave your monitor in the direct sun without a shady retreat, as any species of reptile can overheat and expire under such conditions.
Although they are very manageable in size, black tree monitors can be nervous. While most high-strung or threatened monitors will hiss, puff their throats and lash with their tails, the black tree monitor almost always tries to flee by rapidly ascending higher into the canopy. Cornered or rudely handled specimens may also release their cloacal contents on their handlers. Although gentle and regular handling can help to partially tame these lizards, black tree monitors make better observational pets than “petting” pets. Then again, few monitor species are renowned for being comfortable with frequent handling.
Feeding pre-killed rodents and chicks may help to decrease a monitor’s wildness and nervousness in captivity. In addition to such prey, the black tree monitor may be fed crickets, mealworms and virtually any other type of cultivated insect. Processed foods manufactured specifically for monitors can also comprise a viable part of your black tree monitor’s diet. Feed your pet daily, and supplement every other day’s meals with calcium dust or liquid.
Maintain daily ambient temperatures in the mid-80s Fahrenheit, with a basking spot reaching into the high 90s to low 100s. Nightly ambient temperature drops of 10 degrees or so in are acceptable. Maintain a relative humidity of 60 percent or higher at all times. Offer your black tree monitor water by securing one or more small, shallow dishes amid the climbing branches. Misting the habitat with a spray bottle multiple times daily is also highly recommended. I also recommend placing a large, shallow pan of water on the floor of the enclosure, because even though they may not descend often, black tree monitors will emerge from the canopy to swim in pools and streams. Like most monitors, V. beccarii has a tendency to defecate in its water dish, so diligence in maintaining clean water supplies is paramount. Make sure to leave a branch or other haul-out in the large water dish, so that your monitor may easily climb out.
Sadly, the black tree monitor has a shorter lifespan than most monitors. A healthy specimen may live for as few as 5 years, or in rarer cases, as many as 10. Virtually all specimens available in the pet trade are imported from the wild, as this species is very seldom bred in captivity. As such, newly acquired specimens, which may cost anywhere from $200 to $250, should be immediately inspected by a herp veterinarian and treated for internal parasites.
With care and the proper husbandry, the black tree monitor makes a unique and visually spectacular pet. While it is not the most handle-friendly of lizards, it is wonderful to observe and maintain in its arboreal habitat.
The Monitor Lizard Foursome For Expert Keepers
BY PHIL PURSER, PH.D
Of all the families of lizards that a new keeper could casually and successfully maintain without much preparation or pre-planning, the family Varanidae, the monitor lizards, is not it. While keeping monitors can be a rewarding and successful long-term endeavor, it does take a certain skill set to maintain the largest of the world’s lizards, including a working knowledge of their biology and habits, the proper equipment to house them, and a commitment that these long-lived reptiles (anywhere from 5 to nearly 25 years, depending on species) require. I’ve personally kept a number of monitor species throughout t the years, and I find these animals to be among the most intelligent and cunning of all lizard species.
Monitors, as a family, present the keeper with a very wide range of options. Some species are quite inexpensive, such as the Nile monitor (Varanus niloticus), which may sell for as little as $25, while others may cost much more, such as the green tree monitor (V. prasinus), which sells for anywhere from $500 to $700. Some species are slow and docile, while others are notoriously aggressive. And some are lightweight, arboreal insectivores, such as the black tree monitor (V. beccarii), while others are hefty, ground-dwelling carnivores, like the savannah monitor (V. exanthematicus). All in all, the family Varanidae is a diverse group of large, powerful lizards, none of which should be purchased on a whim or housed in under-sized environs.
Perhaps the most important part of getting involved with the monitor lizards is to intimately know the exact species that you are purchasing. Even though they are close kin to one another, different species of monitor can have very different needs in captivity; this may include diet, behavior, lighting, habitat size, relative humidity, and a host of other needs and conditions. With this diversity in mind, let’s take a closer look at four monitor species.
Black Tree Monitor
The black tree monitor (V. beccarii) is one of my personal favorites. Native to the island chains surrounding Papua New Guinea, the black tree monitor is a lightweight species with a snout-to-vent length of only one-third its total length; the rest of this animal’s length occurs in its semi-prehensile tail. Adapted for a life in the forest canopy, this lizard has long, sharp claws, semi-adhesive pads in the center of its feet, and a semi-prehensile tail that aids it in the treetops by curling around branches and granting stabilization as the monitor moves from branch to branch.
The black tree monitor is small compared to other monitor species, maxing out at less than 48 inches.
The next species on the docket is the very popular, ground-going savannah monitor (V. exanthematicus). Native to the warm forests and grasslands of tropical Africa, this lizard is a devout carnivore. Its wild diet is comprised of primarily insects, small rodents, the eggs and chicks of ground-nesting birds, and virtually all other vertebrates small enough to fit in the monitor’s mouth. Rotting carrion has also been shown to comprise a notable percentage of the wild savannah monitor’s diet.
This stocky lizard grows to 48 to 55 inches in length and may weigh more than 30 pounds. It is substantially larger than its black tree cousin discussed previously. As is true with most monitor species, male savannahs are the larger of the two sexes.
Large, adult savannah monitors have powerful limbs and sharp claws, so a special pair of gloves (made specifically for handling large reptiles or birds of prey) may be necessary to avoid experiencing an unwitting injury from your pet’s talons.
It is easy to see why the savannah monitor has been a mainstay in the pet reptile industry for so long. Wearing a basal coat of tan to sandy-tawny coloration that is freckled with cream to off-white spots and ocelli, and banded about the tail with broken rings of the same coloration, the savannah monitor is one of the more attractive monitors available to the average hobbyist. Often sold in pet shops as hatchlings, these monitors start out as demure, 5- to 8-inch babies. So, buyer beware; make sure you will have adequate space and resources to house a growing savannah monitor.
I recommend nothing smaller than a 30-gallon long tank for a small savannah monitor, a 55 gallon for a larger specimen of 18 inches or so, and a larger, custom-made enclosure for subadult and adult specimens. Many serious keepers of any species of monitor have dedicated entire rooms in their homes to their scaly friends. All monitor species need room to roam, and the savannah monitor is no exception. Letting this animal roam freely in a contained environment, such as an inescapable pen or closed-off room, is the best option for the long-term welfare of your pet. For information regarding the construction of such a large enclosure, I recommend reading Giant Lizards (TFH Publication, 2009) by Robert Sprackland.
When building a terrarium environment for the savannah monitor, keep in mind that this lizard is a forest-dwelling species. It thrives in warm, yet semi-humid, environments and enjoys high heat and plenty of ground cover. Hides are a must, with higher levels of humidity inside them. Achieve this by heavily misting the substrate beneath any hides. These dark, humid retreats will simulate the burrows and tunnels where savannah monitors live in the wild.
I find that the best substrate for a savannah monitor is a mixture of plain potting soil and cypress bark, mixed one part bark to two parts soil. Eco Earth, made from coconut fiber, also makes spectacular bedding for this, and virtually all other, species of monitor lizard. Small savannah monitors may have live plants anchored in their terrariums; larger monitors will likely trample or otherwise destroy plants. Succulents such as aloe vera may work well for this species.
Maintain ambient temperatures in the mid-80s in your savannah monitor’s enclosure; warmer basking spots up to 100 degrees are recommended, as are slightly cooler (and more humid) hideaways. This temperature variety allows your pet to thermoregulate as it would in nature. Misting your savannah monitor’s substrate several times weekly will help keep humidity levels near the recommended 60 to 65 percent.
UV bulbs are absolutely necessary. I recommend eight to 12 hours of full-spectrum UVA and UVB lighting for your savannah monitor daily.
Easily one of the most docile, handle-friendly monitors you could ever own, the savannah monitor tames to gentle, regular handling and can be a pet in the truest sense of the word. Acquiring your monitor at a young age is crucial in it becoming a tame pet. When it is small, handle your savannah monitor by gently nudging it into your hand or allowing it to crawl along your hands and arms. Take care to handle it over a couch, bed or low over a counter, such that it is not at risk of falling onto a hard floor and potentially injuring itself. Once it gets a little size on it, you may safely pick up your savannah monitor and hold it by the midsection and back hips, taking care to support its weight and not grab it by the tail. Unlike other lizards, varanids do not have regenerative properties in their tails. Once a monitor’s tail is lost, it’s lost forever.
Large, adult savannah monitors have powerful limbs and sharp claws, so a special pair of gloves (made specifically for handling large reptiles or birds of prey) may be necessary to avoid experiencing an unwitting injury from your pet’s talons. After handling any pet reptile, make sure you wash your hands with antibacterial soap to avoid any possible contamination. Like all animals, including humans, monitors can carry bacteria on their skin. In the case of monitors, bacteria can hide in the interstitial spaces between their scales, as well, especially if the reptile is housed in unsanitary conditions by a lax or careless keeper. Such unsanitary conditions, coupled with unsafe handling practices, can lead to bacterial infection for both the keeper and the kept.
Feeding is another great aspect of keeping the savannah monitor; these hardy reptiles are eating machines! Virtually everything that moves is on the menu, so you will have to be diligent in ensuring that your pet doesn’t eat too much. Obesity, and the complications and disorders that accompany it, are the leading causes of death among savannah monitors. Diets that are too fatty or too rich in meat proteins are dangerous for the long-term well-being of your savannah monitor.
Feed your pet a varied diet of insects: crickets, mealworms, wax worms, grasshoppers and roaches (farm-cultivated insects and those sold through your pet shop or online). Savannah monitors also love eating night crawlers (earthworms). Cheaply available in bait shops (even large department stores often sell cups of night crawlers in their sporting goods departments), these protein-rich invertebrates will make a great addition to your savannah’s diet.
A close cousin of the savannah monitor is the white-throated monitor (V. albigularis). This animal, which occurs in a number of subspecies, grows to considerably longer lengths (adult males may reach 6 feet) and wears a much more striking coat of colors. Juvenile coloration between the white-throated and the savannah monitor is hard to distinguish, but as specimens mature, the savannah will retain its tawny, earthy coloration, while the base color of the white-throat will darken to a slate-gray hue. The lighter spots and bands on this animal, however, are much brighter and more striking than similar markings on the savannah monitor, and some white-throated monitors may take on a light, alabaster shade over the entire body. The morphology of the head is slightly different from the savannah’s, as well; the sharp snout of the savannah monitor is replaced by a bulbous snout in the white-throated monitor.
The white throated monitor, which occurs in a number of subspecies, grows to considerably long lengths (adult males may reach 6 feet) and wears a much more striking coat of colors.
Hailing from the southern half of Africa, the white-throated monitor is usually gentle, but patience and diligence is still required when trying to get them to tame down and adjust to the human touch.
One major difference between the white-throated monitor and the savannah monitor is the purchase price. At the time of this writing, my local pet store is selling savannah monitors for $24.99 each. A white-throated monitor on custom order at that same shop will cost $150.
Aside from the size difference at maturity, these two lizards may be housed under the same conditions as previously described for the savannah monitor.
Nile Monitor :
The beautiful, but temperamental, Nile monitor (V. niloticus) boasts the title of the largest lizard in Africa. It is estimated to be capable of reaching five feet in length with a weight of around 45 pounds. When sold as a 10-inch long juvenile that weighs only a few ounces, however, this animal can be very deceptive in the pet shop, and many hobbyists have purchased a Nile monitor without knowing what they are getting themselves into.
The nile monitor is a massive lizard for expert keepers only.
In appearance, the Nile monitor is very attractive. Its base coloration is slate to gray to bluish, with bands comprised of yellow to whitish ocelli, spots and freckles. These bands cover the dorsum along the back and completely encircle the tail. The head is similarly dark with lighter speckling and is honed to a very sharp snout.
While it has received something of an undue reputation as a truly evil lizard of terrible disposition, the Nile monitor, if properly housed and cared for, can be much more enjoyable than urban legend would have you believe. Housed in adequately sized terraria as juveniles, these lizards, like the savannah and white-throated monitors, will require their own room or pen as adults.
Juveniles require daily feedings of insects, as they have a very high metabolic rate and need to consume large amounts of food to grow properly. Provide plenty of arboreal retreats to juveniles, as they are devout climbers. When small, these lizards may be housed exactly as described for the black tree monitor. Larger adults, however, seldom leave the ground, and larger basking spots and larger pools of water become necessary, as this riverine species likes to soak and swim. Basking hotspots should reach 110 degrees, while cooler retreats are absolutely necessary, as well. After your Nile monitor reaches 30 inches, provide it with amply sized environs (as well as lighting, water, etc.) as described for the savannah monitor.
Even though I believe its nasty reputation may not be entirely deserved, the Nile monitor is still a very large species that may exhibit an occasional temperamental outburst. This species should definitely be kept only by the expert hobbyist.
Do Your Research First
If you’ve been thinking about keeping a pet monitor lizard of any kind, I salute your efforts, and I encourage you to read all you can on the animals before taking the plunge. Make sure you are able to meet the commitment that a monitor of any type requires, including time, money, space, effort and quality of life. Remember, it’s not enough that your pet survives under your care—it must thrive. Know your chosen monitor inside and out before you buy. The time and money you’ll save, the amount of effort you’ll expend, and the time and quality of years you’ll share with your reptilian pet will be as long and as enriching as is possible with these, the largest and most intelligent lizards in the world.
Phil Purser, Ph.D., lives in Tampa, Florida, where he is a professor at Hillsborough Community College. An avid angler and naturalist, Phil’s areas of reptile expertise include rosy boas, geckos, and all manner of colubrid snake species. Phil’s greatest reptilian passion, however, are the rattlesnakes.
Monitor Lizard Ownership: Important Points to Consider
Each of the many monitors under my care at zoos and in my own collection has left me with the feeling that they are somehow “more complicated” than other reptiles. Recent research into their breeding and hunting strategies bears this out…monitors do indeed appear to be the most advanced of all lizards. Pets often become unusually responsive to their owners, who sometimes ascribe mammal-like qualities to these fascinating reptiles.
Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by John Hill
Among the monitors we also find the world’s largest lizards, a fact which adds to their allure. But giants such as the Water, Lace, Crocodile and Nile Monitors are tough to manage even in zoos, and are suitable only for those few keepers with the knowledge, space, maturity and finances to meet their needs. More importantly, it must be understood that all monitors can inflict severe injuries…in fact, fatalities are a real possibility where young children or incapacitated adults are concerned. Today I’ll review some important points that, if considered beforehand, will greatly improve life for both monitor and monitor owner. As always, please be sure to post any questions or thoughts below.
While monitors vary greatly in personality – some become rather docile, while others remain wary of people – all can be dangerous and must be treated with caution. They are certainly capable of learning from experience and altering their responses to people. My experiences in zoos with Crocodile and Water Monitors illustrated this very clearly to me (please see articles linked below). However, this should not lead us to “trust” them, or to treat a monitor, or any reptile, as though it were a well-trained dog. The following quote from legendary snake expert Bill Haast is generally applicable to any reptile: “You can have a snake for 30 years, but leave the cage open once, and it’s gone – and it won’t come back unless you have a mouse in your mouth”!
Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Greg5030
Large species such as Crocodile, Water, Lace and Nile Monitors (V. salvadorii, V. salvator, V. varius and V. niloticus) can be dangerously aggressive and are not suitable for most private collections. In the course of my work as the Bronx Zoo’s head mammal keeper, I helped restrain giraffes, bison, polar bears, rhinos and many other formidable beasts…but Water Monitors are, pound-for-pound, one of the strongest animals I’ve ever handled. Large monitors can inflict severe bites and scratches, which can lead to permanent injuries and life-threatening infections. Operating policies in most zoos require that 2 experienced keepers be present when monitor exhibits are entered.
Monitors are quite active, and languish in cramped enclosures. Also of concern is the fact small cages render it difficult to establish a temperature gradient (thermal gradients, critical to good health, allow reptiles to regulate their body temperature by moving between hot and cooler areas). Most species require very high basking temperatures, and if sufficient space is not provided, the entire cage will become over-heated due to the effects of the basking site.
Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Beijingbing
The 6 to 7 foot-long Nile, Lace, Crocodile and Water Monitors require room-sized enclosures with drainable pools. Even moderately-sized species, such as the Rough-Necked Monitor (V. rudicollis), should be provided with a living space measuring 6’ x 6’ x 6’ or greater.
The initial purchase price of your pet and the expenses involved in constructing a custom-built enclosure are only a small portion of the total cost involved in monitor ownership. Electricity use will be substantial, veterinary care is as or more expensive than for a dog, and food (mainly rats and, for some, whole fishes) continues to climb in price.
Reptile-experienced veterinarians are difficult to find in many regions, and not all will be willing or able to treat a large monitor. Trust me – it is a grave mistake to embark on monitor ownership before locating a veterinarian, or to imagine that even the hardiest of species will not require medical care. Please post below for a list of herp-experienced vets in your area.
Time Commitment :
While all reptiles require daily checks as to their condition, many require very little in the way of actual daily or even weekly work. Large monitors need a great deal of care, usually on a daily basis…think more in terms of an annoying puppy (sorry, dog-people!) with dangerous teeth and claws rather than a well-fed, oft-fasting Ball Python.
Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by A. C. Tatarinov
Remember also that monitors may live into their 20’s, and that the amount of work and degree of expertise they demand usually complicates the task of finding appropriate care while you are away from home.
Further Reading :
by Bernd Eidenmuller (Author), Hans-Dieter Philippen (Author)
- Monitor Lizards As Pets. Monitor Lizard Comprehensive Owner's Guide. Monitor Lizard care, behavior, enclosures, feeding, health, myths and interaction all included. Paperback – January 8, 2015
by Marvin Murkett (Author), Ben Team (Author)
by Bernd Eidenmullen (Author)
- Monitors, Tegus, and Related Lizards (Barron's Complete Pet Owner's Manuals) Paperback – October 1, 1996
by Richard Bartlett (Author), Patricia Bartlett (Author)
by Manfred Rogner (Author), John Hackworth (Translator)
by Daniel Bennett (Author), Thomas Wilms (Editor), Breck Batholomew (Editor)
- Advances in monitor research =: Fortschritte der Waranforschung : proceedings of the "First Multidisciplinary World Conference on Monitor Lizards", ... Bonn, September 20-22, 1989 (Mertensiella)Perfect Paperback – 1991
by Harold F. De Lisle (Author)
by Michael Balsai (Author)
by Rob Faust (Author)
by Daniel Bennett (Author)
by G.M. Storr (Author), etc. (Author)
by Robert George Sprackland (Author)
by Daniel Bennett (Author), Ravi Thakoordyal (Author)
by Barbara A Somervill (Author)
by Susan Creighton M.Ed. (Author)
Many books you can find in the Internet based libraries and bookshops like Amazon.com ( Click Here ) ..
But first look for the best prices at Book Finder.com
by Erick Pianka (Editor), Dennis King (Editor)
by Dennis King (Author), Brian Green (Author), Frank Knight (Illustrator),
by Ph.D. Robert George Sprackland (Author)
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