Bluetongue in house - Drought related

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Overland

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Hello Everyone, First time joining this forum but ive lurked in the shadows on and off over the years looking at some interesting threads.

This drought has taken its terrible toll on everything, the timing for me personally has been odd to say the least, im not what youd call a lizard fan but ive always admired them as an animal in general.. it seems ive become quite the lizard owner accidently though through no fault of my own .. unsolicited as it were.

My story starts on somewhat of a sad note, My wife is indonesian and sadly so anything lizard-like is the 4 legged scale covered manifestation of all that is evil for her.. even to the point of pictures giving the same reaction.. so lizard pets were not something in my future id ever considered

when she returned home for a while recently.. Happily for myself.. not for her.. I discovered an Asian Wall Gecko in the house.. it had changed colour to match the wall, its nightly yip yip sound was at first thought to be a strange bird or cricket.. sadly I work in the logistics industry closely tied with AQIS.. so as a good australian. I captured this invader as cute as it was and handed it over to an AQIS officer. who honestly seemed to like it as much as I did but knew its fate.. no zoo wants them and this poor thing was headed for the big sleep via a vet.

apparently asian wall geckos are here and commonly come in towels from people - but none the less they try to keep the numbers low and I did my bit for the country

it seemed only 2 weeks had passed.. with the fires raging and drought in full force on the south coast, after telling my wife the fearsome bluetongue doesnt climb walls or come in houses (like an asian wall gecko). that I much to my surprise discovered a bluetongue in my house.. I got no idea what so ever how it got in the house. i'd seen one earlier in the day. but knowing they cant climb or stick to things.. I really see no way I could have brought it home

im not a lizard person, never truly considered one as a pet.. nothing more than a passing curiosity

I also know full well the laws of the land in NSW, your ment to have a licence for the things and never bring them from the wild.. none of which seemingly apply given that this ones a lizard version of a house-guest that dropped by

I leave the front door open at weekends when im home, the bluetongue seems not exactly interested in escaping.. infact its made a home in my loungeroom (lino floors thankfully)

I plan to release it whether it wants too or not once theres actual rain so it doesnt dehydrate and die

I can only assume it came in the house on the hottest day of the year recently to seek shade and water.. its ate banana, some greens.. access to fresh water.. hides at night time, active in daytime

im faced with somewhat of a problem though as this bluetongue isnt the only unsolicited house guest,

I get visits from resident hungry magpies that split their time between hunting worms in the park and hand feeding if I happen to have anything.. Ive fed water to a dehydrated baby magpie in the past, one thats become friends as well as its parents have.. knowing all too well this bluetongue would become dinner for 3 hungry magpies if it was to get in the crosshairs.. im hesitant to simply throw it outside and hope for the best

additionally where I assume it came from, where id seen others previously.. down the road from me, the mix of bluetongues and peoples cats have created on 2 occasions I know of. the disgusting result of seeing a bluetongue somewhat dismembered yet still alive, draging its insides on the outside. a fate I dont want my new found friend to be the unfortunately receiver of

in these strange times of drought im sure many are faced with unprecedented wildlife encounters such as the ones ive been saddled with.. id love to hear any similar stories and resolutions

is there any prevision in the NSW licencing for reptiles to keep such a thing?

im aware the companion lizard class licence doesnt need any documentation to be submitted.. but id love it be all by the book if it stayed long term (through its own free will)

the lizard itself ive named "Naga" as a joke to my wife.. indonesian for dragon :)

it likes its food, it isnt shy.. somewhat tame.. and like all videos ive seen online, doesnt object to being held.. infact seems to enjoy it and goto sleep in my hands more oftern than not.. with a little quirk of only hissing slightly if I stop giving it a light stroke on its head as it sleeps

I admit as someone who never really wanted a lizard, when/if "naga" goes home.. buying one and having proper licencing wouldnt be far behind.. ive rather gotten attached to this almost cat-like lizard despite its cold skin and snake head.. I see where the interest grows and why people choose them as pets

does anyone have a similar situation in these and offer any advise? I realise its a rather complicated and open question on my fronts

Thankyou :)
 

Sdaji

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Just let it go, you shouldn't be keeping wild lizards as pets.
 

nuttylizardguy

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No harm in encouraging it to stay by leaving a dish of water for it in a shady safe place , and helping it out with food , especially If there is no remaining habitat in your area as result of the fires + severe drought .

IMO this qualifies as a rescue situation despite the comments by puritanical people who might say don't interfer or try to help it. Chances are based on it's behavior it's an lost or released pet since it's so tame.

Sounds to me like you now have a pet in Naga. So let Naga have the option to come and go as Naga pleases ( and enjoy the privilege of having "wild" bluetongue who regularly visits and enjoys interaction with you ).
Since you aren't keeping Naga in an enclosure (forcing it to stay with you) , Naga comes and goes at will and chooses to visit , no need for you to take out a wildlife keepers' licence or to even tell the licencing department's boofocrats about Naga .

The companion native animal keepers' permit only applies it the animal is a KEPT permanently as a pet ( in a cage or enclosure or in the home and was purchased ). Same applies to the other classes of permit. None of which are applicable in this situation.

Continue doing what you are doing and enjoy the interaction and special trust relationships that will result from this with the local wild animals that you are helping.
 
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Overland

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Thankyou all for replies, I appreciate each of them

I fully understand the mindset of that naga is wild or close to wild and it should in all realism be let go, something I do endeavour to do the moment it rains a decent amount, we do have abundant snails here.. or used to have. so food im sure wont be hard to find back in the wild, its all im waiting for honestly.. just some rain. some green to start growing.. a little more than swarms of hungry birds pecking the ground fruitlessly for worms that dont exist only to find a juicy somewhat large bluetongue thats rather naturally defenseless.. making a wonderful meal.. just really trying to give this delightful lizard the best chance of resuming life

naga chose to walk into my home, camp in my house during that hot day. I appreciate the company and with it, ive actually used it as a driving force to learn alot about bluetongues online, to the point that once naga does go back into the wild, it'd be followed up by a captive bred bluetongue and licence where i'll start my journey as a bluetongue owner. at the age of 38, with a tame bluetongue in my lap thats happily asleep enjoying warmth.. it does seem this unsolicited scale covered cat, despite its strange look. might be the pet im looking for

at 39, the last pet I had was my dog of 17 years that died in my lap as she was put down as a very old dog, this was some 6 years ago now

I have enough wildlife coming to the house in the day but nothing I get to hold or stroke as it goes to sleep, or feed with a sense of presence . all of which naga has taught me is possible with a lizard

its been a wonderful learning experience and with it ive managed to save and revitalise an animal that would likely be otherwise dehydrated and dead by now

on a side note, I seen earthworks being done recently in my area.. I was suprised to see just how deeply caked dry the soil is, almost looks like mars under the dead grass.. certainly not friendly to life even without the fires. its a difficult time for everyone and everything.. I do feel lucky to have been given the opportunity and with it a new chapter in life

finally too, having naga here has helped my wife get over her lizard/reptile phobia shes had all her life..
other than size.. theres simply nothing scary about a bluetongue and its done wonders

"Naga" - night time spot (driers warm)

lizard.JPG
 
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nuttylizardguy

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He's certainly settled in and seems to like it inside with you.

I think he's adopted you and wont want to leave unless it's go find a mate .
 

Overland

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D37D1CC7-1824-4589-A47B-37191AE3725A.jpeg it is nice to have around the house, nagas also looking and acting more healthy and lizard-like

falling asleep on my arm at night, it must have got some latenight warmth from myself and the dryer, soon it was off to the apple/banana peices and a late night explore of the house, where I actually got hissed at properly for removing it from nesting in my jacket in the laundry, all encouraging for me as when it first came into the house. the dehydration and lack of food seemed to have taken its toll

im looking forward to having it rain and the snail population explode, at which time ill put naga outside vs simply leaving the outside door open for hours

ive done my bit, learnt alot and saved a life. gained alot of understanding, experience and affection for these scale-cats

some encouraging yet puzzling news from my wife, shes used to bluetongues now but only if it looks like naga

so, it seems im stuck with an eastern (?) bluetongue when the time comes to purchase one as a pet from a licenced pet shop or breeder

I dont have a problem with it, I think their one of the most beautiful species of bluetongue, with the exception of those black ones ive seen online :)

ill post a few pics on the day of release when it happens

I cant help but feel fortunate to have had this house guest and all that its done
 
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Overland

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thats something I never would have believed and been lead down the path of owning a captive bred bluetongue if id not had the experiences with naga

snuggles, being held, having a lizard appreciate interacting with a human. all very feline and canine qualities

D6D9EDD0-0BB9-4059-A2E6-79A8F3CE9BF1.jpeg 112EB843-80BF-4E8A-BCCA-3BEBBA7456FC.jpeg

naga sure likes sitting on my arm while getting sun, safe from magpies, if a wild lizard can be this tame (and active, healthy and zippy when exploring the house) having those qualities in a proper captive bred bluetongue, it gives me hope of a long 15-20 years companion pet

rains said to fall on weekend so itd be time for the big goodbye in a few days

I cant say im sad
just happy to have had the opportunity.

its been a light in the otherwise darkness of the new year for people and animals alike
 

nuttylizardguy

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Naga may choose not to leave or at least not to go far. Your house is now Naga's territory , and it's pretty clear Naga likes/trusts you (I'd cultivate that and encourage that , pretty easy to set up a feeding , drinking/bathing station in an area near the house or in a room where Naga likes to hang out).

We had an eastern much like Naga when I was child ( in the 1960s ) who was so tame she'd take food from our fingers and hands , and came when we called her name , often wondered inside and would be found curled up under the lounge or a bed , even ontop a bed occasionally (under a pillow) , this skink stayed with us for over 15 years , giving berth to a little of baby skinks nearly every year.

More recently I've had very bold water skinks take up residence inside our house who become very tame and even tame enough to permit the occasional finger treat and a tickle under the chin. I enjoyed them so much I ended up finding captive bred water skinks and now have two adult females who share a very large converted tub and a juvenile male (who's thrived and is now 38g and a very impressive subadult male who has his own tub).
Very cheaky wild water skink on our lounge ( was living in our house coming and going at will ) and became pretty friendly.
28dec2017-Cheakie-studying-me-and-Fluffy1.png


My pet 5 year old female captive bred eastern water skink Fluffy enjoying some quality dad time yesterday :
IMG-0012.jpg


Raised her from juvenile about 3 months old and she's a very sweet little lady .

My two easterns were bought from a local breeder as little babies who could sit in my hand 10 years ago ( a male and a female ) and have grown to be very smoogy skinks . When you buy your captive bred skink, look for something about 2 to 3 months old who is very outgoing and friendly ( I chose two who came to me and crawled out of the tub and wanted to explore me and seemed very comfortable with my wife and me ) . Also the younger skink will not have had it's health compromised as much as a 6 to 12 month old juvenile or subadult by way of poor husbandry or diet .
I've only mated my two once ( accidental ) , was very hard parting with the 9 babies ( we would have kept the lot if we had the space ) and was also a PITB getting emails and calls from potential buyers , most who never showed up , so we've kept the pair in separate tanks and not allowed them to mate again.

Mildred as a juvenile enjoying a nap in my shirt pocket :
Mildred-in-September-2010.png

George snuggling
George-in-August-2010.png
 
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Overland

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beautiful post thankyou mate, lovely story thats now close to my heart after my experience.

water skinks, we have them alot down here near the mountain creeks. I never knew what they were until now, the wild ones run away so iv never had the chance to have a good look at them, very tempting I must say, your two bluetongues inspire me greatly, honestly been worried about getting one young basically wanting a naga clone, I see though a 3 month old bluetongue is as special as a wild full grown one :)

you was right about naga, it was with a bit of a heavy heart I forfilled my promise and released her after we had a bit of rain, surprisingly emotional spent all day thinking about her when I was out in town. along with eyeing bluetongue or waterdragons for sale to fill that green scale covered hole in my heart :)

not too long ago id only been home an hour when a big electrical storm set in, full of double thunder, lightning strikes from hell and rain pleasing yet cold and driving downpour

I didnt see her come in, the bottom of my flyscreen has no mesh though

surprisingly (scared me at first)

nagas hiding between the oven and the cupboard looking very much like a dog scared of thunder, I realise lizards faces arnt all that dynamic, its not hard to see fear in her eyes though. I reckonise that anywhere, my long dead staffordshire of 17 years always had the same look

with a bit of coaxing, nagas currently under my jacket hiding from the storm and taking warmth from her human once again, im convinced shes female too, body shape, smaller head. she may actually be pregnant as ive noticed over the time she stayed with me shes gotten slightly bigger. hopefully if she is pregnant (and a female) she'll have those outside

so another learning experience, bluetongues hate storms.. if I haddent of experienced it, id never know or even consider it possible
 

kankryb

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Now when I wake I go strait to aussiepython and here to check update on naga I think you are doing great and keep the updates coming
 

nuttylizardguy

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I'd say Naga feels safe and protected with you and in your home , it's her "safe place" . I think you are stuck with her as a house guest.

You can keep the status quo , letting her come and go as she pleases , I'd be offering her some food supplementation ( make sure it's good quality and rich in calcium as she'll need the calcium and protein if she's pregnant to help her babies develop properly inside her ).
Is very hard on a skink when pregnant as the fetuses take the lions' share of goodness in the mother's food.

Regarding the friendly resident water skinks. My wife grew up in a semi-rural area where sometime brown and black snakes come inside the house. The first year or so when our first resident water skink started coming inside everytime she saw a tail disappearing under the fridge or cabinets or lounge she'd freak out until one day I saw the tail's owner bold as brass on the kitchen floor foraging for crumps . I bought a tub of mealworms and started tossing a few mealworms in it's direction each time I saw it , and I set up a large plastic jar lid ( Kraft Peanut Butter) on the floor with some water in .

This skink soon started coming up to me when I was on the lounge ( begging for some worms ) and not long it was sitting on the lounge next to me , and I got a very pleasant surprise one afternoon when I placed a mealworm in my open uphead hand when the skink came up and took the worm off my hand and then returned and tried to force my fingers apart - the hand smelled like mealworm and it obviously thought I was holding out on me.
Won my wife over when it took a cricket from her finger tips and let he pet it.

This skink was regular house guest for 3 or 4 years and inspired me to get my first two official pet lizards ( I wanted a pet water skink but couldn't find any for sale in my area , so I started looking at eastern water dragons ( we get some in our garden some times ) , bluetongues ( I knew a bit about them ) and or bearded dragons. The bluetongues were the first babies I saw advertised so that settled the matter.


Took a long time to find a local breeder who had captive bred eastern water skinks for sale. VERY HARD TO FIND.

Regarding skink personality : my observation is that every skink has it's own character and quirks .
 
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Overland

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If naga gives birth inside the house, will the babies be wild ones or pets? :D

interesting question really, im hoping thatll happen on her trips outside. I do genuinely wonder though. is a baby skink born inside still wild? best get my reptile licence soon in anycase :)

in the latest saga of naga shes become a "network monitor" shes improvised my wifi modem I rarely use as her heating pad, it never gets too warm. I do get weak signals though..

AF627FA9-98B0-4B65-BB27-5D47E5CD0C11.jpeg

(not nagas footprints just dust)



and she seems extremely happy to sleep in the pocket of my jeans when im watching netflix

its raining hard outside, very cold
her interest in going outside seems to be between no and hiss
with this modem being the best place in the world short of hanging around on my neck

a very clingy skink today, but with good reason

on another note, its rather evident in the world that people regard these creatures as cold, robotic things running on instinct, void of all emotion and feeling

most people state that naga is simply too tame to be wild and she must be an escaped pet, while possible I think it heavily disregards the animal itself when I think about it

ive got magpies that visit me occasionally and hand feed, a currawong at work thats known me for years and flys down in the morning to me and only to me

similar with 3 crows that have known me since they were babies. all 3 equally trusting

ive got a cockatoo that comes in my house to eat seed and over the years ive made friends with quite a few birds. to me - if naga is wild, she has the same trust as these birds have. wild yet free to choose what benefits her, its as if because shes a reptile. such a concept is completely alien and impossible to many

true though ive never had a bird goto sleep on me yet, but she has her reasons. im warm :)

since im off work today and its too cold outside for her to munch on snails, ill buy her some squash, strawberries, lettuce and a nice square foil packet of dog food

maybe a banana for later if shes still hanging around in my house once the rain clears

best part about a lizard like this
she can have her dog food but everything else I can eat if she happens to disapear back outside
 
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nuttylizardguy

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My approach will be keep Naga and the babies "off the books" , not on your NSW Wild Life Licence or official records ( avoids "complications" ).

Let them all come and go as they please , the babies will eventually disperse but wont go far if females.

PM sent.

I too have friendly magpies, doves, rosellas etc, as well as friendly skinks and geckos , and sometimes I get a visit from a large male water dragon who wants in on the free-food and treats , and is not shy about "helping me garden" - makes fast work of disturbed spiders, worms, rollypollies, centepedes, etc and sometimes takes a cricket or superworm from me.
 
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GBWhite

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Hi Overlander,

Unfortunately mate your Bluey is a wild one and so would any babies that may be born whether inside the house or not so there would be no possibility of ever getting them on license. Just be content that it is happy to wonder in and out of the house. In addition from the photo it doesn't appear to be gravid (pregnant).

All the best,

George.
 

Overland

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Thanks everyone :) Im quite happy for naga to be the house lizard she is, a scale covered wingless magpie of sorts. unique but similar

the modems definately become her spot of choice, ive relocated the food and waterbowl nearby

56F00C2E-795F-4E59-8822-BABC963A6B46.jpeg


its nice to see her warm and active when I do see her, havent seen her for almost 2 days previously. searched everywhere in the house, food remained untouched so I figure she was having a stint outside

seen her running across the loungeroom floor sunday evening when I purposely left the front door open with the flyscreen closed all day that has no mesh at the bottom

bluetonguin can be a bit odd to interpret at times
since they face any threat rather than run, im never sure if shes looking at me in a friendly way or wanting to hiss, ive never got the tongue showing treatment though

she seemed rather cold when I sighted her around 8.30pm. picking her up to see how she was eventuated in the classic reptile snuggle, her new favorate place appears to be my jeans pocket where shes worked out to turn around with just her nose sticking out and goto sleep in a rather entertaining "trowser snake" look :)

AB491C1E-BCA3-4931-8369-7641399961E4.jpeg




one thing remains constant in my mind though, im glad shes alive. thinking about how many thousands of these slow moving defenseless animals would have met a terrible end in the southcoast fires, having one warm, content and sleeping in my pocket. its a blessing im thankful for

not without conflicts though. a wild bluetongue being a house guest seems to have been my gateway reptile. I find myself looking to the future with a bearded dragon. at which point, from all ive read.. they dont like to share territory

but! one day at a time
when shes ready she may move on and im in no rush for the bearded dragon

as mandated by my lovely wife with the nuclear level reptile phobia

shes fine with bluetongues now, a massive astronomical step. should I buy one it has to be as close to looks to naga as possible

right now a bearded dragon with thier light speed, creepy arm having and mini dinosaur look revitalise her phobia to levels over 9000 :)
 
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nuttylizardguy

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Modems have always been a fav spot for the scaley 4 legged visits to my house too. Nice and warm ontop the modem.

I'm sure your wife will soon fall in love with a bearded dragon when you buy one , get it as a hatchling ( start small and cute / goofy looking and she'll love it , choose the hatchling that is most relaxed with being handled and the battle will soon be over and she'll wonder why she was so scared of them ) , they are every bit as personable as a tame bluetongue and can be super snuggly too.
 
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