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Posted by: crocdoc2 at Wed Nov 28 15:51:20 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by crocdoc2 ]  

"...But if you hear this advice from someone who has one or two monitors for a year or two... Well... This person doesn't know what he/she's talking about."

Basinboa has just summed up what I was about to say. It's not a matter of being stubborn, it just comes down to how you gauge your sources and talking to people who have a lone, tame monitor that's only a couple of years old only gives you a partial answer.

It's not hard to find youtube videos and posts in monitor forums by people with a lone, 'tame', monitor, usually a savannah monitor. If you ask them how they got it so 'tame', they may tell you that they handled it like mad when it was young. The problem with this sort of 'research' is that it is flawed for a couple of reasons (there are more, but these are the first two that spring to mind):

1. The sample size is small (each of these people has only one animal)

2. You're working backwards, starting at the results ('tame' monitors) and then retracing to the start/cause. This is flawed because it completely ignores all of the other, negative results: i.e. No one posts youtube videos about how they failed to tame their monitors. For all we know, for every one tame monitor that was handled like mad as a baby and ended up on youtube there may have been dozens that have died of stress, or which have eventually had enough of being manhandled and resorted to biting in self defence to the point they were rehomed. Rather than post youtube videos, those owners have long since switched hobbies and are now playing the Guitar Hero console game instead.

Looking at it logically, if you wanted to tame a wild squirrel, would you encourage it slowly to trust you, maybe by trying to get it to crawl onto your lap with small offerings of food, or would you grab it and hold it until it stopped struggling?

I've been breeding and selling baby lace monitors for a number of years. No, they're not mangroves, but they are a species that starts off life with a pretty nervous temperament. Each baby I sell comes with a care sheet, part of which has basic information on raising the baby into a tame adult (nothing fancy, pretty much the advice I gave earlier - the key lines being to leave it alone and never disturb its hide spot). Most of the people follow my advice, some don't. No one can blame them, as it's certainly easier not to follow to follow my advice because to follow it takes a lot of patience and the results may not show for a very long time. I've had to act like an AA sponsor many times by fielding phone calls from people, frustrated because their monitor still hasn't calmed down enough to be handled after many months, trying to convince them to still leave it alone. They all calm down in the end and I know this because many of the people that have bought monitors from me keep in touch and send me updates. Consequently I have a sample size that goes way beyond a couple of animals and I've also held back a number of babies over the years, as well as raised a number of unrelated individuals as potential new breeding animals.


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