Bluetongue in house - Drought related

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Overland

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With the warmer weather and thankfully rain too. she seems to disapear for days at a time, Food untouched when she does.

I assume shes seen it fit to do her thing outside. im happy for her if not slightly worried, I guess that comes with having a beloved house guest vs an actual pet :)

shes dropped by recently and fed on a few grapes I offered during that extremely hot day,

like alot of people I know, lizards arnt immune to becoming hissy and huffy during hot humid weather. her climbing skills have now graduated to wall gecko from bluetongue, in that shes learnt to use household items with interesting results, ones that seem well practised

shes using a bike wheel to contort herself, winding around the spokes in an almost upside down way to eventually end up on her prefered safe spot on the window sill, only around 40cm from the ground but impressive none the less

this, I found out is her territory, not mine
and with a warm lizard baked to perfection, giving her a pat is fine. welcome..but trying to remove her got a proper huffy hiss (but no tongue)

in bluetongue style though she went from hissy to "whatever" when held :)

out of curiosity I visited a local pet store that professionally stocks reptiles, trying to see my future purchase bluetongue. regretably they didnt have any, just bearded dragons. not wanting to leave empty handed. I purchased a good size container of superworms to start a colony, study..and to feed naga (with head squished)

sadly nagas interest in these worms seems to be nill. she prefers fruit and vegetables.

im contemplating cooking the mealworms myself. they look tasty on youtube.. if naga doesnt think so..I do :)
 

nuttylizardguy

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With the warmer weather and thankfully rain too. she seems to disapear for days at a time, Food untouched when she does.

I assume shes seen it fit to do her thing outside. im happy for her if not slightly worried, I guess that comes with having a beloved house guest vs an actual pet :)

shes dropped by recently and fed on a few grapes I offered during that extremely hot day,
Yep , I get that too.
My house gecko/s and friendly house water skink hang out inside for a week to 3 weeks at a time, then head outside to do their "thing" for a while .
I've had a skink do this , even wintering inside ( and staying awake and hungry and active most the winter ) for years .

The geckos tend to keep a lower profile , but we know they are there because we hear them churping and sometimes they show up on the lino or kitchen benches or climbing the window to eat a moth.

out of curiosity I visited a local pet store that professionally stocks reptiles, trying to see my future purchase bluetongue. regretably they didnt have any, just bearded dragons. not wanting to leave empty handed. I purchased a good size container of superworms to start a colony, study..and to feed naga (with head squished)

sadly nagas interest in these worms seems to be nill. she prefers fruit and vegetables.

im contemplating cooking the mealworms myself. they look tasty on youtube.. if naga doesnt think so..I do :)

IMO that's pretty strong evidence that Naga is indeed an escaped/ lost or dumped pet , and has never been fed live or dead insects ( lots of keepers give their captive bred bluetongues dog food as a staple and they never learn insects are food ). A wild skink will not hesitate to take a worm , especially if you've squished it's head and it's fresh and it's juices are now smelly and appetitizing , I've had wild skinks trying to eat my fingers that smelt like cricket or mealworm or superworm .

Try a live worm next time , the movement in a dish might be the charm if Naga's actually wild. ( Will have had to fend for herself which means eating grubs, worms, snails, insects and small spiders, etc and occasionally a nibble on mushrooms and herbs and flowers .)
 
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Overland

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I have tried live superworms, even minus head they have the muscular fortitude to move around for an hour or so I found, I undertook a test the other day when naga was on the windowsill,

worm or grape.. she was warm and agile. I left her alone for a while watching her through the blinds

sure enough she walked over the worm not caring for it and eventually ate 3 grapes. she has eaten dogfood before, a corner of them little squares but generally seems to prefer fruit and vegetables

in another nice unexpected naga sponsored event, im finding superworms to be very interesting. Just put them on a fresh bed of oats tonight and handled one for a long time. its good in a way naga doesnt eat them. My adventures in bug farming wouldnt have started without naga inspiration. wild or escaped pet..shes been a pleasant twist in life thats lead me down a path I never would have considered without my visiting skink

right now im not too sure shes home, a banana in her foodbowls had a chew, but shes not in her usual hiding spots and theres no droppings anywhere, I figure she visited for water which is near the banana and left possibly to do her thing

I admit its nice to have the mystery and its less worrying than having a caged lizard causing me to stress about getting home on time to let it out :)

ill get a few pics and video next time I see her. shes looking nicely healthy
[doublepost=1580304954,1580297702][/doublepost]a little unexpected surprise from changing the bedding of the superworms, I found a female green cricket bouncing around, same species of what the store sold. perhaps it was living with mealworms all along?

in anycase it cures one curiosity, torn between crickets or worms I somehow got both

when naga does return, she'll be offered this unexpected bonus prize
[doublepost=1581131068][/doublepost]naga has returned, shed and once again taken up residence ala "trousersnake" in my jeans pocket right now, I didnt see or hear her move for many days. pretty much figured she'd found another home

this morning during the heavy flooding rains - interestingly enough polar opposite of what brought naga into my home in the first place..

I saw a tail under my fridge, unmistakenly naga but missing the white spot, I moved the fridge to discover naga and bit of scales, its one of them things once you realise what it is, its then seen everywhere

after this discovery I found a green patch near the modem, some flakes in my quilt (not on bed) and loungeroom, some big, some tiny

shes eaten some dog food thismorning, flatly ignored any superworm, decapitated or not, this was disturbing to do as id gotten attached to the worms :)

shes back to her happy self asleep in my pocket while that 200mm of rain bears down

she sure knows when to come home :)

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nuttylizardguy

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She knows when she's on a good thing.

Smart skink you have there and it's pretty clear she trusts and likes you.
 

Overland

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one thing id like to ask, whats with the expensive bluetongues? petshops and breeders have them for 200+ both common eastern and trippy coloured ones seem to start around 200, or breeders in nsw seem to stick to non-local types seemingly to keep the price high

ive seen bearded dragons in respected stores around the 100 range. makes me wonder if prices were lower would a lizard nicely replace othee common pets and much to the advantage of our country, aint no giant ferral bluetongues around :)
 

nuttylizardguy

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one thing id like to ask, whats with the expensive bluetongues? petshops and breeders have them for 200+ both common eastern and trippy coloured ones seem to start around 200, or breeders in nsw seem to stick to non-local types seemingly to keep the price high

ive seen bearded dragons in respected stores around the 100 range. makes me wonder if prices were lower would a lizard nicely replace othee common pets and much to the advantage of our country, aint no giant ferral bluetongues around :)

They are chasing the $.

I'm sure if you check GumTree and PetPages , you'll find breeders of common "non-fancy / aka expensive morphs" eastern BT skinks who have been breed in captivity for about the same price as beardies.
I've seen easterns ( babies and juveniles ) for sale for about $50 .
My advise is avoid petshops when buying reptiles , find a local hobbyist breeder and buy from them ( this way you get to see the mum and dad lizard too ).
 
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Overland

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A bittersweet update on my much loved naga, no she isnt dead :) quite the opposite, freshly shed, impressively fat yet not in an unhealthy way, as placid and loving as ever

my time with naga came to a conclusion today after a conversation with a wires member, she agreed that naga seemed either too tame or just too well adjusted to home life to be safely let into the wild carelessly, add to this, theres been quite a bit of owl activity and bird activity in general in my area. something that likely spelt a horrible painful end to a lizard who of her own accord, came into my house and life during that terrible drought a few months back and made my house her own

as expected a heartfelt conversation with a NSW wildlife officer proved sympathetic and understanding, yet rigid. I will say the woman on the phone was wonderful to deal with and if itd be upto her. id have naga on licence. alas..I do live in NSW.. so it was a no, although with great praise with my intent to give naga over to wires

wherever theyre based these days proved my wollongong home to be too far to come, offers to meet at kiama station threw up confusing questionmarks for reasons unknown

it was established, Austinmeer animal hospital to be the best dropoff point for checkup, care and eventual pickup

not my first preference, I got my dog of 17 years put down by these people, despite being lovely people n all

I turned up with naga onboard in her well known trowsersnake position, buried in my jeans pocket, gave her a final hug and handed her over into a pet carrier

the staff and waiting clients all conveyed on how absolutely beautiful, healthy and gentle she was

she'll be checked out, scanned for a microchip (a vague hope I had..)

I had slight health concerns recently that she has a slight wheeze likely due to the strange weather and mentioned this too just incase

I applied for a companion reptile licence on the bus
granted within 5 minutes.. dropped into a pet store to eye a central bearded dragon id like at a later time, and to pickup some mealworms to farm

in all honesty id love another common eastern bluetongue, alas common boring lizards arnt easy find in the reptile trade

so today marks the conclusion to my house guest bluetongue, its been a wonderful amazing learning experience that introduced me to the world of lizards as pets id never have known, nor felt ever existed

and feeling it did, handing naga over and returning to a house minus naga has to rank 99% equally with losing a dog,

best I fill this empty void with another scale covered captive bred friend as soon as possible, and with it. a functioning mealworm colony :)
[doublepost=1582340360,1582340222][/doublepost]last hug
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possible future pet:

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nuttylizardguy

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I wouldn't have even mentioned Naga to the NSW wildlife officer , or WIRES . Hopefully she'll end up living a protected life at somewhere like Gosford Reptile Park and wont be left to her own devices in the bush somewhere without proper rehabilitation.

Did they say you will be given updates on her ?

Good luck with the future bearded dragon or bluetongue skink .
 
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Overland

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honestly mate it was the hardest choice to make, she came into my home of her own free will and greatly benefited from it in a way im very proud

a few factors scared me despite how much I love this green scale covered lizard shaped cat,

I work for a logistics company thats tied into NSW borderforce/AQIS under licence, even the small chance of being fined etc for doing the wrong thing in regards to naga, as stupid and as mindboggling as it is in NSW wildlife laws are. could have directly put my job at risk, a strange ideal from my point of view since I was taking the upmost care of naga and she was all the better for it, she was never captured or put in any enclosure

second is, Im actually a wheelchair user and having naga as freerange as she was came with the terrible and heartbreaking risk that she'd one day end up in 2 bits with the insides on the outside, a victim of an unforgiving wheel, she came to actually associate my wheelchair with me, increasingly so sleeping on and in a spare wheelchair I have thats the same colour as what I use, having no fear to take evasive action if ever she was unseen

but the ideal that I would have had to eventually brought an enclosure for her just to get around the previously mentioned issue didnt agree with me at all, she loves her space, hates being in any box no matter how big, yet loved being in my pocket warm and safe

it was always a calculated risk of extremely low success to contact NSW wildlife the way I did, but in doing so it lead me to wires as an idea id not considered

happily a former school teacher of mine from long ago is one of the most active wires members thats likely to end up encountering naga on her journey, Ive got alot of faith in what they said, at the end of the day though I think this ticks all boxes, despite a very big and heavy bluetongue shaped hole in my heart today

Ive been promised updates and if I do get any ill be happy to post them here :)

I realise the common bluetongue might be somewhat of a lacklustre skink as a pet, but as someone whos only had dogs, cats and rabbits (most ive found on the street over the years including my staffy that got put down at 17)

im proud to say a bluetongues proven to be the most beautiful, unique and friendly animal ive ever had the pleasure to own, as short as it was

I can only wish in time native animals replace dogs and cats as preferred pets in time as we as a people in this country focus on greater preservation of what we have
 

nuttylizardguy

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honestly mate it was the hardest choice to make, she came into my home of her own free will and greatly benefited from it in a way im very proud

a few factors scared me despite how much I love this green scale covered lizard shaped cat,

I work for a logistics company thats tied into NSW borderforce/AQIS under licence, even the small chance of being fined etc for doing the wrong thing in regards to naga, as stupid and as mindboggling as it is in NSW wildlife laws are. could have directly put my job at risk, a strange ideal from my point of view since I was taking the upmost care of naga and she was all the better for it, she was never captured or put in any enclosure

second is, Im actually a wheelchair user and having naga as freerange as she was came with the terrible and heartbreaking risk that she'd one day end up in 2 bits with the insides on the outside, a victim of an unforgiving wheel, she came to actually associate my wheelchair with me, increasingly so sleeping on and in a spare wheelchair I have thats the same colour as what I use, having no fear to take evasive action if ever she was unseen

but the ideal that I would have had to eventually brought an enclosure for her just to get around the previously mentioned issue didnt agree with me at all, she loves her space, hates being in any box no matter how big, yet loved being in my pocket warm and safe

it was always a calculated risk of extremely low success to contact NSW wildlife the way I did, but in doing so it lead me to wires as an idea id not considered

happily a former school teacher of mine from long ago is one of the most active wires members thats likely to end up encountering naga on her journey, Ive got alot of faith in what they said, at the end of the day though I think this ticks all boxes, despite a very big and heavy bluetongue shaped hole in my heart today

Ive been promised updates and if I do get any ill be happy to post them here :)

I realise the common bluetongue might be somewhat of a lacklustre skink as a pet, but as someone whos only had dogs, cats and rabbits (most ive found on the street over the years including my staffy that got put down at 17)

im proud to say a bluetongues proven to be the most beautiful, unique and friendly animal ive ever had the pleasure to own, as short as it was

I can only wish in time native animals replace dogs and cats as preferred pets in time as we as a people in this country focus on greater preservation of what we have

Pretty bad situation to be in to fear loosing your job because a skink decided she liked you and decided to make your home her home. Like I've said right along , you've been doing nothing wrong , Naga had the freedom to come and go at will and she decided she liked / trusted you (that's not a common thing to have happen with "wild" reptiles).
I worry about my resident friendly "house" skinks and geckos when I don't see them inside for weeks at a time ( locals around here let their cats roam 24/7 , and some don't even bother the keep their dogs contained ) , and occasionally I'll find one of MY lizards dead in the yard and that's very upsetting .

I'd say Naga owned you rather than the other way around.

IMO common eastern bt skinks are fabulous animals and make superb family pets. My grandson loves our two.
 
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Overland

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Thankyou my friend, youve always been understanding and right on point with any advise youve given, I do greatly appreciate it

bluetongues are great pets and will always have a place in my heart :)

ive seen terrible things happen to them in the past, dismembered by cats still alive dragging thier insides on the outside and hissing with every step ranks in my book as the number one nightmare ive seen and was a driving force in wanting to save naga from it in any possible way,

its one thing to see a lizard introuble before but having spent time with one now, like you say. seeing one of your lizards dead is a terrible thing wild or not, its all the same

I hope for a day when captive reptiles form a greater part in what is the family default pet, certainly less destructive, part of me being so outward with naga was to show family and friends just how wonderful a lizard can be as a pet. im happy to say I might have planted seeds of interest with some people :)


thankyou also for showing me the way for finding common boring lizards around 35 dollars vs 250 ive been quoted :)
[doublepost=1582419694,1582377124][/doublepost]an update on naga im happy to report

the vet - who has her own bearded dragon and quite loving of all things reptiles
conveyed naga's health to WIRES as a credit to myself ive been told she was in absolute good health when checked out

shes been released into the escarpment bush down this way, something far superior than a suburban garden full of nasty cats

of course still quite sad none the less

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Bluetongue1

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Really enjoyed the read. It brought back some fond memories as a youngster growing up in south-west Sydney. We commonly had eastern blueys in the yard. What I observed over the years was that different individuals displayed different behavioural traits. I also observed that they clearly had a capacity to learn. They definitely do not operate solely on instincts, as many seem to believe.

If I were to state that the various blue-tongues that visited all had their own individual personalities, it would no doubt raise the ire of those sensitive about being anthropomorphic. So suffice to say they each displayed their own individual temperament. Some were always wary and would only eat the snails and other food items placed out for them, if I remained still and at a respectable distance. At the other end of the scale were those that eventually allowed me to handle them. I might as well add that our house cats were wimps. A single encounter with one in full defensive display was enough for them to give the lizards a wide berth from then on. So the lizards were able to come and go with no interference.

One weekend when out in the bush I made an interesting observation. I came across a full-sized adult exiting a narrow burrow underneath a sizeable boulder. As I hadn’t disturbed the lizard I decided to sit and watch it. The boulder had a small overhang right around its base and was basically wedged between two vertical rock faces either side. The lizard made it way along this overhang, clearly looking to go over the boulder to get to higher ground. As I’d seen blueys slipping and sliding on sheets of tin when startled and madly trying to escape, I thought to myself this lizard has no show of climbing up there. However, using it hind limbs it pushed the front of its body upwards, past the overhang. It was basically standing on tippy toes and using its tail to help support its body weight. This gave it sufficient reach for its outstretched front claws to find purchase on the sloping section of the sandstone boulder’s face. Slowly it pulled its body upwards and both back legs were momentarily dangling in thin air. All the while the tail remained in contact with the ground. Once the hind legs were in contact with the rock face, it used that purchase to move each fore limb forward, in turn, and pulled itself up further. After just a little more careful climbing it was away. Had I not seen it with my own eyes I would have doubted anyone relating a similar tale.

By the way, magpies do not pose a serious threat to an adult bluetongue. If the birds have a nest nearby then they will harass any sizeable animal in the vicinity, in an attempt to scare it off to protect their eggs or young. Lace monitors commonly raid bird nests, so this behaviour by the birds is definitely not unwarranted.

Why the WIRES lady mentioned owls as a potential predator, I have no idea. Owls are nocturnal and blue-tongues are diurnal. Kookaburras will take young blueys, as will a number of diurnal raptors. A large raptor, like the Brown Falcon, may predate on slightly bigger individuals, but I’d reckon it would not be common. The main predators of adult Eastern Blue-tongues are large elapids.
 

Overland

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Unfortunately mate, it was me who brought up owls not wires, with good reason.

I work in sydney, live in wollongong so home is dark till dark, naga adjusted likewise, enjoying an occasional grape after some pocket-time around 9pm, commonly seen exploring the house well past 11 when all bluetongues should ( and was originally) asleep at this time, so much so that a friend with his own captive bluetongues questioned how and naga was awake doing her thing long after his own were asleep

sadly, these concerns were ignored by WIRES - they simply wernt interested because naga was in , as the vet said. in good health
(and she had scales not fur or feathers)

avoiding insects, worms..being notcternal, well accustomed to the soft lounge, sunning herself by windows, being found taking comfort in bubblewrap and using a router as a heatpad, one of many concerns I had and detailed to no end in upmost clarity

to release the animal in this adjusted state, much like nsw wildlifes own page says in regards from moving a lizard and being unable to find food was exactly why I thought I was doing the right thing

in the end, I wasnt
its me who was clueless sadly

btw, anyone know what that nice music on nsw wildlife wait queue is when you call up? :) id love to hear the full version
[doublepost=1582712227,1582677459][/doublepost]last update on everything. in back from a 3+ hour trip and 70 dollars lighter. I did have one lined up with another seller but, I wanted that naga shaped hole in my heart filled

this is "oomax"
not sure how old she is, she was one of many and countless others, species too from the breeder today

its very tame, gentle, soft and squishy, attacks dogfood with vigor though

I forgot theyre not nocternal.. I put oomax in a towel and she fell asleep quickly, quite a ride of boucing around all day in a chinese container

happy, yeah..but I could have my naga if sanity was a thing in nsw revenue makers that we call regulations

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nuttylizardguy

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Oomax looks nice . He/she will give you lots of pleasure as a pampered and very spoilt pet.
Does the missus like Oormax ? A few smuggles from Oormax and she'll soon be won over.

Brings back very fond memories of when my George & Mildred were little juvenile BTs .

How have you set up Oormax's tank/tub ?

I think a good UVB source at least is mandatory for a fast growing very young skink + calcium rich protein rich food. At the very least I'd recommend a 26W UVB150 in NANO HOOD mounted about 20cm from the basking spot because it's going to be way too dangerous for Oormax to go outside in the natural sunlight while he/she's so little and vulnerable.
 

Overland

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thanks everyone :)

wife hates oomox for the opposite reason that naga was, naga was a giant asian wall gecko in her eyes

oomox is an asian wall gecko in naga livery :D

oomox's tub is half setup, at the moment, I gather like alot of people its a setup with paper towels, desklamps etc

because I dont have a heatlamp nor uv lamp yet, I did the most viable thing

trowsersnake my new pet in a sydney office all day long! :) oomox stayed in my pocket all day with a full hours sunlight at lunch

oomox certainly knows who I am, with others holding today, she'd fight her way back into my hands when offered to someone else

not too happy about my sleeping/work patterns but adjusting well

eating well with a healthy interest in mealworms, water and dogfood :)
 
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nuttylizardguy

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thanks everyone :)

wife hates oomox for the opposite reason that naga was, naga was a giant asian wall gecko in her eyes

oomox is an asian wall gecko in naga livery :D

oomox's tub is half setup, at the moment, I gather like alot of people its a setup with paper towels, desklamps etc

because I dont have a heatlamp nor uv lamp yet, I did the most viable thing

trowsersnake my new pet in a sydney office all day long! :) oomox stayed in my pocket all day with a full hours sunlight at lunch

oomox certainly knows who I am, with others holding today, she'd fight her way back into my hands when offered to someone else

not too happy about my sleeping/work patterns but adjusting well

eating well with a healthy interest in mealworms, water and dogfood :)

Go easy on the mealworms , high fat content in them.

Better worms to offer are
blacksoldier fly lavae , good place to get them is BIOSUPPLIES ( based in Sydney, order on any week day (Sun,M,Tue,W,Th) and you'll likely get your parcel delivered next day or day after). , can order online , get the large size worms and I'd suggest two 50g tubs to start. Incredibly good staple source of insect protein and dietary calcium and even when they pupate are good food , as are the very slow moving flies.
https://biosupplies.net.au/black-soldier-fly-larvae-50gm/

A dish like this works a treat at keeping worms in it, https://www.amazon.com/ADOGGYGO-Reptile-Mealworm-Ceramic-Feeding/dp/B07TZV87NH
just make sure the BSFL are dry when they go in else they'll climb out (using water film surface tension - they escape artists when damp).

sllkworms ( I'd get maybe 25 MEDIUM size , about 30mm long ) , are a near perfect feeder insect , can feed fresh mulberry leaves or chow .(Very slow moving). I think LIVEFOODS UNLIMITED still sell them in lots of 25 worms and handypacks , day to order is Sunday before midnight , things appear back "in stock" then.
http://www.livefoods.com.au/live-insects/Silkworms
a very good supplier is https://www.peacefulsilkworms.com.au/?page_id=374
often can find silkworms (very cheaply) , their eggs , and fresh mulberry leaves on GUMTREE.
 
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