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RE: monitor suitable substrate

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Posted by: varanusaurus at Sun Jul 14 12:54:53 2013  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by varanusaurus ]  
   

I recently observed the importance of a "home" in a monitor's captive environment.

One of my friends has been working with a single melinus since May, and it exhibited a nervous disposition that goes beyond what I considered typical of most Indo types. Upon disturbance, it would flee at high speeds, slam into the walls, etc., which we expected. What we did not expect was that it would never settle down (hide) in one place. It aimlessly ran from one hiding spot to the next, and remained uneasy for long periods of time. He never once observed it basking or eating.

Although there was a crude structure of many hollows and cork tubes filling up most of its cage, we realized that pretty much all it provided was a range of temps and hiding spots. Hiding spots do not provide long-term security, and are certainly not homes. So what we did was set up a massive, hollowed-out tree stump in the cage, partially buried. Unlike the cork tubes, the stump is very heavy and does not budge when the monitor moves on/within it. The melinus continues to use all the hollows as it does its thing, but it always retires to the stump when its done being out and about. The stump consistently provides security and the same temps/humidity, and has become the lizard's home within its cage. His "typical" Indo monitor now willingly leaves the enclosure to tong feed and explore.

This is a slightly different approach than yours with the deep dirt and albigs, but it's essentially the same concept. Captive monitors need a home they recognize as safe, and can rely on.


   

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