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Need HELP: Anole Popsicle

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Posted by: bshipp at Sun Jan 8 10:41:09 2017  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by bshipp ]  
   

Folks,

Let me start out by saying I'm not one of those crazy people that takes wild animals in as pets/forces them into captivity. That said, I need advice on what to do with this wild anole. I live in Charleston, SC and during the warmer months, we have green anoles EVERYWHERE. Yesterday, the high was about 39 degrees, although it never got warmer than 37 after 12pm. I stepped outside on our back porch around 3pm and noticed a dead leaf sitting on the floorboards. Upon closer inspection, it wasn't a dead leaf at all, but a small green anole (brown at the time) that appeared to be in serious trouble. I approached the little guy and picked her up gently, cupping her in my two hands. She didn't attempt to flee or even move in the slightest bit when I picked her up, which was the fist sign of major distress. Usually they take off whenever I get close, especially if I attempt to pick one up. This one was so cold that it felt like I was holding an ice cube. I took her inside and let her warm up in my hands, and after about two minutes she started to move. Her movements were very jerky and uncoordinated, but as the minutes went by she became more and more alert, and after about 10 minutes she was climbing up my arm and sitting on my shoulder. Normally, I would have let her go at this point, but I wasn't about to put her back outside in the sub 40-degree weather. So I went out to the pet store and spent about $100 on a terrarium and other necessary supplies to house her temporarily. It's not a total waste of money because I plan to get some poison dart frogs in the near future, so that's how I'm justifying the purchase other than saving the life of one small lizard.

Anyways, I need to know what to do from here. The high today is 38-degrees again and I don't think she'll make it if I release her where I found her. I know wild anoles typically spend the colder days underneath bark or logs...which makes me feel like I did the right thing when I found her exposed and in the open air sitting motionless on the middle of my porch (not sunning herself, porch has a roof and screen so no sun gets in). So what do I do now? I know it's wrong to keep a wild anole or any wild animal in captivity as an adult, but I'm 99% sure the ultimatum would be to release her to her certain death. Do I keep her until March when the weather warms back into the 60s and 70s? Do I release her on the next random warm Charleston day? Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week are all forecasted to have highs in the 70s. Please help, I need some expert advice! I feel horrible keeping her in a cage...


   

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