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Saving an anole who hitchhiked to NC

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Posted by: mothermastiff at Sun Feb 13 22:25:37 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by mothermastiff ]  

I need help rescuing a starved, stressed anole from Florida to get him healthy and keep him that way here in NC (in a terrarium of course) till late March when I go back and can release him back on our sheep farm. Apparently he hitchhiked from FL to NC in my clothes!

I found a large Carolina Anole two nights ago that had been in my dirty laundry in a giant Ziploc bag for two and a half weeks since I was last on the farm in Florida. Still alive, but very dehydrated and quite thin. And quite large framed for an anole. He was green, then brown.

I put a shallow dish of water in the container with him (will set up a 10gal terrarium for him Monday), bought him crickets per the PetSmart recommendation, but he hasn't caught one, then I caught him a small cockroach from under a log, in case the crickets were too big, but he hasn't eaten that either.

Maybe he is too weak to catch food, or they aren't familiar food species. Or maybe too big. I don't know what else to offer. It would be extremely upsetting to lose him.

The girl at the store said to mash up a live bug and force feed him or he might die from being too weak (I have certainly saved weakened puppies, kittens, and lambs by hand feeding high calorie foods).

I don't mind so much mashing the bug, but am afraid of choking or hurting him, or simply failing to get his gullet open. I raised English Mastiffs for 30 years, and an anole is so much SMALLER.

I plan to get him some mealworms in the morning in hopes they are the magic food he will recognize as edible, but I am very afraid I need to learn to force feed him, till he is stronger.

His color is deep brown tonight. He does move around a bit. If he gets loose in the house he will definitely die (with 2 busy cats who loke to kill lizards) so I can't risk his getting away.

I have a 10-gal terrarium with sterile sphagnum, a climbing branch, and a high power full spectrum lamp that recently belonged to a walking stick who did not survive (two of her legs had come off in transit). He goes in that in the morning, need to clear space for it first.

If he can use an aquarium heater he can have that (is it safe and effective?) I don't have and can't easily afford an extra light fixture for basking, but have a spare 6500 bulb I can use for the tank. I use one for the 10-gal aquarium to grow the fancy plants.

The house stays at 70F at night so he should be OK then.

For a five week fostering effort, I cannot afford to buy an expensive setup.

I would never have captured and kept him on purpose, he had to have gotten into my clothes on the farm.

He just needs to start eating, and to survive till late March when I go down to visit the farm again and can release him where he belongs. Please help me help him. I spent an hour turning over logs in the yard, and only got one tiny cockroach, no other forms of insects at all. It's in the 20s at night up here....

I haven't had a herp for 50 years, so be real clear and simple, OK?


laurie (Mother Mastiff)


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