Reptiles as Pets : Lizard Handling
Remember, if you’re planning to get a young lizard as a pet, it will need consistent gentle handling in order for them to become accustomed to handling. However some species, such as Cuban Knight Anoles, are more suited to being kept as a display reptile, than for handling. Other species, such as Bearded Dragons (pictured above) and Blue Tongued Skinks will come to recognize individual people and some will seek human contact.
General tips on handling:
- Give a new reptile (regardless of age) a couple of days to a week to settle in to it’s new surroundings before attempting to handle it. Some reptiles will need longer to settle in than others!
- Baby reptiles in the wild are preyed upon by other animals, so baby reptiles are often more flighty than adults.
- Approaching from above will likely elicit a flight or fight response from many reptiles as they interpret it as a predator attacking them. Approaching from the same level as them is seen as less threatening.
- If you do pick up a lizard, especially in the case of long bodied species like Blue Tongued Skinks, the whole body of the reptile should be supported.
- In the case of larger species which use their tails as weapons, such as Savannah Monitors and other varanids, it’s safest to restrict the movement of the tail. It can be tucked under your arm whilst supporting the rest of the lizards body with one (or two) arms.
- Above all things, be patient! And remember that though it may be your pet, it is still a living animal.