HELP Angry Sand Monitor

Discussion in 'Australian Lizards and Monitors' started by GiveMeOneOfEverything, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. GiveMeOneOfEverything

    GiveMeOneOfEverything New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Hello all!
    SO I have finally decided to swallow my pride and admit that I have next to no real knowledge on raising my Goanna :( a tiny bit of background info on myself before I get drilled for owing a pet I know little about: Ive been keeping reptiles since I was a teen and currently have a collection of about 13 different reptiles of all different species from lizards to my 12ft Olive so safe to say my knowledge base on reptile keeping in general is above par to say the least.
    HOWEVER finding info out there on keeping sand monitors was hard to say the least :(
    I bought the guy as a hatchie from a pet store in SA and safe to say he was a menace from day one! I bought him because eventually one day I wanted to own a Lacey and possibly if I get the edu permit a perentie as well so I thought he would be a great place to start learning.
    I am completely and utterly in love with this guy he is simply the most amazing creature I have ever encountered with personality and intelligence like I've never seen!
    I'm pretty sure my husbandry is ok (feel free to make suggestions I've attached pics)
    BUT it's been a year and a half now I've for the most part been trying the "let him come to you" approach which is fine when I have food in my hand but otherwise hasn't shown any progress yet and force handling him is definitely not something he is even slightly ok with :/
    This is going to sound stupid but I am literally best friends with every damn animal in my house and this bloke just doesn't want a bar of me! Haha I can't even move in his direction without him hissing and flaring out his body etc he isn't a biter yet but definitely a scratcher and likes to whip his tail about haha
    My question and reason for positing is this: What can I do to make him more ok/easier to handle? I know he is a sand monitor I know he isn't going to be a puppy dog or anything remotely close I just want to be able to pick the guy up for short periods of time without him wanting to take my life :') hahahaha any ideas would be greatly appreciated and feel free to comment on husbandry also does anyone have any idea on how much rodents he should be eating at this size and how frequently? Currently have him on adult mice roaches and crickets (NOTE: I just started building this enclosure two weeks ago I will be swapping out the turf for desert sand on one half of the cage and blue agate gravel on the other half and I'm currently building a raised platform/jungle gym so he can get closer to his UV also going to cover the wire with something because he likes to climb up and down it and I don't want him to hurt a nail or toe)
    I think that's everything thanks in advance guys!
    Images: http://imgur.com/a/lI01oWK
     
  2. Herptology

    Herptology Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Messages:
    203
    Likes Received:
    81
    Gender:
    Male
    Monitors require ALOT of time and trust, one simple slip up could cause the trust to be broken for a very long time :( the mertens at work was very good Untill a work experience student dropped him because his claw scratched her when he was being passed, now he doesn’t want anything to do with handling
     
  3. Stompsy

    Stompsy Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,776
    Likes Received:
    1,131
    Gender:
    Female
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Welcome to Monitors!

    Some are excellent and others are jerks.

    I have a Lace Monitor who I let out to roam around my bedroom during the day and as long as he/she isn't hungry... I have nothing to fear. (I do wear ugg boots whenever I'm walking around though, just to be on the safe side) I also have a male Sand Monitor who has now bitten me 4 times, all but one was a food response. He's ok with handling, but food crazy so I don't handle unless completely necessary.

    The most important thing to remember is that every single monitor has a different personality. My partner had a female Gould's who was just a brute.... hated everyone and everything but never bit us once. His other female lets us scratch her neck and pick her up like she's a Blue Tongue. We have never force handled any of the monitors in our care, everything has been on their terms and some take to it well, while others just don't like human contact. We've also found that the older and larger they get, the more comfortable they become and that tends to settle some of them down because A LOT of the craziness can be attributed to defensive behaviour.... EVERYTHING is a threat in the wild when you are a little teeny monitor!

    You could try force handling to see if he settles down any, but honestly, I think most of the time that turns them nasty when they get some size on them.


    PS I know you said you are revamping the enclosure but please hurry and give the poor boy some sand! Lots of it!
     
    LittleButterfly likes this.
  4. GiveMeOneOfEverything

    GiveMeOneOfEverything New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    UPDATE:
    Had a friend of a friend come by in person after posting this thread who has dealt with crocs Elapids and lace monitors most of his life and he was able to give me some incredible advice! I can now walk into my boys enclosure without him making any fuss whatsoever I can now pick something up that’s right beside him and move around him without the slightest hiss!
    I’ve been clicker training him with food to come to me and have taught him to climb up onto my shoulder using food as a reward however he still makes a scene once he is on my shoulder hahaha
    He is now on on a substrate of Childrens playsand on one side and some random 45mm odd bits of sandstone on the other side (I kept the sandstone on one side as he loves to drag his food all over the place and I wanted to limit any chance of impaction by feeding him on the stone) I’ve also filled up the wire on the right side with some wood panels to keep in the heat in these cold winter nights :)

    He is now feeding on:
    raw egg
    chicken necks
    chicken breast/thigh
    Kangaroo meat
    chicken liver
    Chicken hearts
    quail
    -rats
    -crickets
    -woodies
    -mealworms
    I’m honestly probably forgetting something his diet is so full hahaha all of this items get fed on an irregular basis besides the insects and a rat (or two!) which is fed weekly other than that everything else is slotted in randomly :) safe to say from a vets perspective he was never underweight but since changing to this diet his tail and leg muscle has increased incredibly so!
     
    Stompsy and Herptology like this.

Share This Page