Introduction from Pmb

Welcome to the forum. Tell us a bit about yourself here.

Introduction from Pmb

Postby elizevdmerwe » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:24 pm

Hi, I'm wife, mom, head pet keeper, jill of all trades down in Pietermaritzburg. My oldest son (almost 8yrs) has developed a love for all things reptilian the last couple of years, starting with the normal dinosaurs, dragons.... on to lizards, snakes, crocodiles and turtles! His wish was to keep a crocodile on our property, which we explained for various reasons were so not going to happen.

Then after seeing a friend with a bearded dragon as pet, he has put his heart on a lizard, gecko or dragon... He has been learning from this dad, upping his chores at home looking after our dogs, etc. to show that he is sincere and ready for the responsibility and it has been going on for nearly a year, with very little slacking off.

So my husband and I have decided to investigate the options available and we therefore need information on where, how, what to start keeping a lizard as pet. It has to be a legal buy, and we would like to keep the (probably lady/female) in as natural and safe an environment as we can afford, keeping in mind that we have three dogs that stay in the house as well. We will still help, keep an eye, share in responsibilities, but would prefer to start with something that doesn't need minute detail to survive.

And then we'll take it from there, and hopefully have a pet lizard sharing our house for the rest of his/her life!
User avatar
elizevdmerwe
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:21 am
Location: Pmb, South Africa

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby Ruan Stander » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:35 pm

Welcome to the forum Elize.
Well done for being open minded about reptiles and giving your son this opportunity, it didn't come as easy for me.

First off, I would, from personal experience recommend a snake. They are a lot less maintenance than lizards, and also less expensive to maintain(on a small scale).

The best lizard to start with would be a leopard gecko or bearded dragon. Not a green iguana, like I did at the age of nine.
Snakes would include corn snakes, some of the rat snake species or house snakes. Seeing that you are in Natal, indigenous reptiles are legal to keep without any permits, unless they fall under the specially protected species list.

You will find plenty of valuable information on the care of the reptiles I have mentioned by doing a search on the forum.

Best of luck.
Ruan.
The way to success has no shortcuts.
Ruan Stander
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 1008
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:25 pm
Location: Mookgopong/Modimolle(Naboomspruit/Nylstroom)

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby elizevdmerwe » Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:13 pm

Thanks for answering so quickly and for the advice.
With regards to snakes... we did discuss it, but for two main reasons I am not willing to have a snake (or tarantula) on the pet list. I'm not that open-minded! First, I will have to help to take care of the pet snake, and having gotten a crash course at a friend's house when their snake escaped her son's terrarium/room, I realised "not a chance". Secondly, I also have a five year old son who will most likely take the snake out (no tactile problems with them) and then it will be between us, the snake and the Jack Russell, who is going to get to it first, and it's life will most likely depend on me picking it up QUICKLY, and I can't guarantee that. My younger son can't stand the little gecko feet on his skin (sensitivities), so the chance of him taking the gecko out of its house, is little to none.

Lizards/geckos I don't have a problem with as I have rescued a few in our garden from the Jack Russell, safely depositing them back in trees, and even had a "pet" house gecko who "helped me cook" at a stage in the kombuis.

I will read up more on the Bearded Dragons and Leopard Geckos, thank you.
User avatar
elizevdmerwe
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:21 am
Location: Pmb, South Africa

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby Ruan Stander » Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:42 pm

No problem.
Just a note of caution-a lizard will escape just as quickly and effortlessly as a snake if the enclosure is not secure, that's all it comes down to. Also, I would recommend locking the enclosure, as a five year-old should not be handling anything without supervision.
The way to success has no shortcuts.
Ruan Stander
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 1008
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:25 pm
Location: Mookgopong/Modimolle(Naboomspruit/Nylstroom)

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby elizevdmerwe » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:52 pm

Thanks! I will definitely do that, and I agree, they shouldn't handle any animal without supervision.
User avatar
elizevdmerwe
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:21 am
Location: Pmb, South Africa

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby scalybunni » Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:53 pm

Hi & welcome to the forum :)

Out of personal experience I can honestly say a bearded dragon can take flight a lot faster than most of my snakes! Lol I once had one and damn he was fast. But bearded dragons are sweethearts and truly amazing pets to have if you're not for snakes then I'd definitely go for a beardie.
The kiss originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before.
User avatar
scalybunni
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:16 pm
Location: Mossel Bay, Western Cape

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby elizevdmerwe » Sun Aug 24, 2014 6:13 pm

Thanks, I really appreciate the advice. I think we are all in for a change and a bit of training. We'll take all necessary precautions as we don't like to unduly stress or get animals injured, so for the first while we will also close the bedroom door with the JR outside when we handle and feed the new one. Might have to put mesh in front of the window as well, incase of an escape!
Another friend told me about two exotic petshops in Pmb and another in Hillcrest where we can have a look at possible Beardies and Leopards. My husband is more keen for a Leopard, mainly because it can't climb vertical and it seems to be smaller than a Beardie, but I think in the end it will have to be Adam's choice, within limits.
User avatar
elizevdmerwe
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:21 am
Location: Pmb, South Africa

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby Ruan Stander » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:28 pm

Way to go Mom :)
The way to success has no shortcuts.
Ruan Stander
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 1008
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:25 pm
Location: Mookgopong/Modimolle(Naboomspruit/Nylstroom)

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby scalybunni » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:18 pm

Leos are adorable little creatures & I wish I could have one but those kind of things aren't very easy here in the western cape with all the permits ect.
The kiss originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before.
User avatar
scalybunni
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 94
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 2:16 pm
Location: Mossel Bay, Western Cape

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby rolandslf » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:48 am

Greetings and Welcome.

I honestly would recommend getting a snake as a first reptile pet. Keeping Lizards is both expensive and high maintenance.
Even quite a few really old hands and excellent Reptile Keepers shy away from Lizards.
Just my 2 cents worth.
It is better to be Pissed Off than Pissed On.
Roland Friskin
User avatar
rolandslf
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 2543
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:10 pm
Location: Durban

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby elizevdmerwe » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:55 am

Thanks Roland :) , but as I explained previously we won't be able to keep a snake. When I discussed it with my son he was also very open in saying that he likes snakes, but doens't want to keep one. It has always been the more "big, brawny, mouthy ones" he adored, starting with dinosaurs, dragons, crocodiles (still), and then Beardies. If you tell him he can keep a crocodile as of tomorrow, he'll be in 7th heaven. My phobie for snakes might have something to do with his decision not to keep snakes, but I really think it has more to do with what he really loves. ;)
I know we are in for a learning curve, and as I have been adviced in another thread, we'll try and start with older Beardies. What I can asure you is that when we commit, we won't do it half-heartedly, and I will hand over responsibility as I see it can be handled.
User avatar
elizevdmerwe
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:21 am
Location: Pmb, South Africa

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby Westley Price » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:42 am

Hi Elize

I was (and probably still am) exactly the same as your son when I was younger; I had a strong liking in Dinosaurs which led me to of course want one.

If I can give you advice which will make your son the most happy boy in SA, is possibly look at a Green Iguana.

They are larger than Beardies which means they dont get hurt or lost as easily. The feed almost exclusively on greens (bit of protein is appreciated) and due to their size can regularly be left to roam the house and even a secure garden.

Google a few care sheets and see if you will be capable of caring for one. They are probably as close to a dinosaur that you're going to get.

Good luck
"I am dying by inches from not having anybody to talk to about insects." - Charles Darwin
User avatar
Westley Price
Forum gatekeeper
 
Posts: 4015
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:25 am
Location: South Africa

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby Ruan Stander » Sun Aug 31, 2014 7:29 pm

Westley, I would have to disagree with you on this one. I love iguanas, and I would gladly keep one now.

My first reptile was a green iguana, it was a male and I got him when I was nine. He was very 'tame' and tolerant of handling. However after about two years, he just flipped completely. He became incredibly aggressive- he literally would launch onto me and start biting me when I opened the cage, to the point that I would wear a thick jacket when I had to feed him. It was like something from a movie.
This went on for a few months, and never subsided as I hoped it would, and I had to get rid of him because of it.

This was surely an exceptional case, but other than that, I think they might be a bit more maintenance than beardies.

Perhaps a female would be a different story.
The way to success has no shortcuts.
Ruan Stander
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 1008
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:25 pm
Location: Mookgopong/Modimolle(Naboomspruit/Nylstroom)

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby Westley Price » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:36 pm

No problem disagreeing Predator, but you are simply basing your assumptions on your own experience with one iguana.

With regular handling and of course a bit of luck, you will find Green Iguanas can be very tame and pleasant pets.

But I agree with you when it comes to care; they are not as simple as Beardies to keep due to their size and requirements, but if you after a dinosaur, I recon you can get much closer.
"I am dying by inches from not having anybody to talk to about insects." - Charles Darwin
User avatar
Westley Price
Forum gatekeeper
 
Posts: 4015
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2008 8:25 am
Location: South Africa

Re: Introduction from Pmb

Postby elizevdmerwe » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:43 pm

@Westley, I read a little about Iguanas and one of the pages said they are scared of dogs (?) - and we have three (Labrador, German ShepherdX, and Jack Russell), which are in and out of the house all day, so it won't work. But you are right that Adam would love one, as he sat next to me looking at someone's video on her Iguana running after her, with his teddy in his mouth, and he was so excited! I can see an iguana in my son's future though ;) A iniature dinosaur with a sail.
Right now I'm slowly but surely convinving hubby that lizards are actually cute 'critters' with personalities, and not just an animal that sits on its branch the whole time! :)
User avatar
elizevdmerwe
SA Reptiles Member
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:21 am
Location: Pmb, South Africa

Next

Return to Introductions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron