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My iguana
08-26-2012, 09:19 AM, (This post was last modified: 08-26-2012, 09:27 AM by MrBojangles7331.)
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MrBojangles7331 Offline
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My iguana
Hi all, I'm new to the forum. I figured I'd post a little about my iguana. Her name is Gizzard, although we usually call her Gizz or Gizzy. Creative name -- I know.

She is now 15 years old. I got her for $15 from a pet store when she was 2 weeks old. It's funny, because now including tail length she exceeds 5 feet. Not huge for an iguana, but a decent size. Originally, she looked like a little anole lizard from outside in Florida. She was given to us in a brown paper bag.

When I was picking out the iguana, I stuck my hand in the cage and they all scattered. Except one, and that was Gizzy. She was probably too stupid; I don't know, but it was pretty smart actually, because I take good care of her.

She is free roaming, and able to go outside, inside, and anywhere in the house as she pleases. She scratches at the door to go out/in our fence enclosed back yard. She's tried to run away a few times in the past when she was on "heat", but now she doesn't go through the whole "heat" thing so she is much more calm.

A wonderful pet to have if you read about caring for them properly and have the time Big Grin

Here is a picture of her, although I wish I snapped one of her in a tree or something Tongue

[Image: urvcp.jpg]
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08-26-2012, 02:19 PM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: My iguana
She's a very pretty girl. Big Grin Sounds like she has a good home. I have a question though. Is she"trained" at all as to where she does her business? I am always curious to this with anyone with free roaming lizards.
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08-27-2012, 08:11 AM,
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MrBojangles7331 Offline
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RE: My iguana
(08-26-2012, 02:19 PM)Fishbone Wrote: She's a very pretty girl. Big Grin Sounds like she has a good home. I have a question though. Is she"trained" at all as to where she does her business? I am always curious to this with anyone with free roaming lizards.

Thanks!
When we first got her, we trained her to use a cat litter box. She used it most of the time, but would often try to dig in it which would make a mess. Later, we trained her to go to the bathroom outside. She rarely ever does her business inside, maybe once a month. She usually has a couple of spots she goes to the bathroom outside, though. She picked those spots on her own.
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08-27-2012, 10:56 AM,
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writer811 Offline
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RE: My iguana
She looks like a very beautiful lizard. How did you keep her from escaping in the early days that you had her? Do you have a fence and is she able to go over or under it? How do your neighbors feel about having a free range reptile near their property? Do Gizzy ever go into the neighbor's yards?
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08-27-2012, 11:38 AM, (This post was last modified: 08-27-2012, 11:42 AM by MrBojangles7331.)
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RE: My iguana
(08-27-2012, 10:56 AM)writer811 Wrote: She looks like a very beautiful lizard. How did you keep her from escaping in the early days that you had her? Do you have a fence and is she able to go over or under it? How do your neighbors feel about having a free range reptile near their property? Do Gizzy ever go into the neighbor's yards?

Mostly just keeping a watchful eye on her. Our back yard is pretty large (2-3 lots back), so there was a lot of wooded area. Luckily I have a window overlooking the yard. I would just look out every couple of minutes. Now she goes outside with very little monitoring -- I check maybe every 15-30 minutes and she stays outside for 2-4 hours a day. We have fences, but she can definitely dig or climb over them. Also, our back yard area has a good amount of dirt, so you can actually see where she's gone by looking for "tail tracks" on the ground. It looks almost as if it was made by a snake.

I would say over 15 years, she has "ran away" 3-4 times. In the past 5 years, she hasn't attempted it at all. Although she has a tendency to go to similar places each time, so it's not hard to locate her. The scariest time was when the night she ran away was supposed to be the coldest night (Located in Florida) of the year. I felt like she might've frozen to death if I didn't find her. She actually found her way inside of my shed and was stuck behind a cabinet. Luckily iguanas sneeze a lot and I heard her sneeze.

My neighbors are actually extremely friendly people. In fact, they have younger kids (8-13) who love looking at and petting Gizzy. Most people in the neighborhood know that I own an iguana and think it's pretty cool. If Gizzy ran away most people would know who to phone if they saw an iguana running around. I'm very grateful for having a good local community. I hear in Southern Florida iguanas are considered pests and people are instructed to kill wild iguanas there, so I'm glad I live in a friendly community in Central Florida. Gizzard mostly stays in our back yard as it's enclosed, but at times I've brought her into the front yard so neighbor kids can look at her and pet her. Some times I'll tell them about the iguanas "third eye" on their head and such. Most of the children around here catch and release anoles (the small, native to Florida lizards) so it's interesting for them to see a much larger lizard.

I realize a lot of people don't agree with the risks of free roaming iguanas when it also includes a lot of outside activity, but for me I think it was definitely worth the risk. We also have a pool area in the back yard and often just sit around, and it's nice to have an iguana who can also appreciated basking in the sun Tongue She is an excellent swimmer too! (although she has a tendency to do her business in the pool at times)
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08-28-2012, 05:16 AM,
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writer811 Offline
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RE: My iguana
Wow! That is really great that you have such a good relationship with your iguana. I'm also happy you have an understanding community and all that. I know Florida has a lot of problems with invasive species. Is that why iguanas are pests there? Are they an invasive species?
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08-28-2012, 07:18 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: My iguana
That's awesome! Its great you have taken such great care of her! I've never house broken an iguana, I have house broken a tegu though Smile

Writer, yes, we have large established populations of green iguanas in central and south florida. To the extent that they are caught and sold as florida iguanas. Its a perfect habitat for them. Its not even that hard to go out and find them in the right places if you put in a little time.
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08-28-2012, 08:36 AM,
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MrBojangles7331 Offline
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RE: My iguana
(08-28-2012, 05:16 AM)writer811 Wrote: Wow! That is really great that you have such a good relationship with your iguana. I'm also happy you have an understanding community and all that. I know Florida has a lot of problems with invasive species. Is that why iguanas are pests there? Are they an invasive species?

As far as I understand, many people in South Florida bought them as pets and either released them or they escaped. Because the climate is habitable for them, they have established a small local population. Unfortunately, they like eating plants/people's gardens. They also sit in the road a lot because they like the heat of the asphalt. Personally I live near Orlando and have never seen one in the wild. Supposedly in South Florida it's reasonably common in the right areas.
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08-28-2012, 08:37 AM,
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Thor Offline
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RE: My iguana
Cool iguana you have there. Thanks for sharing. Smile
How much do you feed this 5-foot long lizard?

You said it had escaped a few times. Does she usually come back on her own?
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08-28-2012, 10:37 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-28-2012, 10:37 PM by MrBojangles7331.)
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RE: My iguana
(08-28-2012, 08:37 AM)Thor Wrote: Cool iguana you have there. Thanks for sharing. Smile
How much do you feed this 5-foot long lizard?

You said it had escaped a few times. Does she usually come back on her own?

Thanks! Yes, she has came back once (no clue where she went!), but for the rest of the times we went out and actively found her before she had a chance to decide on whether to come back or not.

Generally she gets a bowl full of greens every day. It's a small bowl, not too large. Maybe every 3 or 4 days I'll feed her some peas or bananas which she particularly likes but it's a "treat." Reptiles don't need to eat as much due to the fact they're cold blooded and don't need all that energy to regular temperature, so during the winter oftentimes she doesn't eat every day.
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