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Lexpharaoh

New Member
Messages
2
Hi everyone! (I am completely new here so hello!)
Let me get right into it! Yesterday I brought home my very first Red Tegu and I am SO EXCITED. To say that this is my dream lizard is putting mildly!
Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of information on them. They were purchased at a reptile expo where they were kept in a smallish display case with entirely too much stimulus going on around. It broke my heart, and I decided it was the day to bring them home. This has left me looking for HELP from folks with more experience than me. My Tegu is displaying lots of fear, making themselves stand tall and arching their back when I reach into the enclosure to gently stroke them, talking to them in a very soft voice. (I’ve since decided not to crowd them and have backed off for them to get used to the new surroundings even though I’m just so excited and want them to know I’m kind, I refuse to over stress them) When I picked them up after getting them home (just to transition them between to bin they came home in and their 75 gallon tank which is temporary until they get a little bigger) they relaxed for a bit and I got almost excited/hopeful for that minute that they were accustomed to being handled but then they panicked and tried to climb down my back. When my husband caught them to keep them from injuring themselves they gave him a warning bite. No teeth, just quite a bit of pressure. Understandable! It’s a very scary and new situation!
I have no idea if they are male/female (I asked the people running the display and they said they were too young to tell but we’re leaning towards male based on the cheeks.) I don’t know how old they are, I don’t know if they were bred or wild caught. So many folks at the expo CLEARLY loved their reptiles and took such good care and time to educate and relax their reptiles. My friend with me purchased a blue tongue tegu about double the size of mine that was VERY accustomed to being handled, and really enjoyed just hanging out. Which is where I would LOVE to get to, but understand it can’t be rushed.
I think I am just looking for HELP. If anyone has any suggestions on how to relax my boy (?) and get him accustomed to me in a slow and gentle manner (I have no problem being patient, he’s worth it) so he knows that I am his person, and that my husband is okay too would be nice! I’m also including pictures to see if anyone has a guess as to his age, and possible gender? I REALLY appreciate any and all advice!
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Retnoo

New Member
Messages
21
Location
Florida
The important thing is to take things slowly with your new animal. It can take months for your tegu to fully adjust. My Tegu was extremely unsocialized when I got him. You could not even get your hand near him without him biting or running away.

I'm not an expert but he's definitely not full grown. probably around 8-10 months?? I can't tell the sex right now, but you'll know soon enough. Sometimes when they urinate their hemipenes pop out if they are male. also males get larger and their cheeks will continue to get bigger.

I would definitely not recommend picking him up (unless you have to) for a while, until he gets used to your presence and being handled. If he doesn't let you pet him at all, start by just placing your hand in the cage and letting him lick you and walk around you. Just spend alot of time sitting next to his cage, or with part of your body in the cage. Make slow and deliberate movements when you do pet him. Mine still doesn't like to be picked up all that much and will sometimes struggle. When picking your tegu up it is also important to have the correct hold on them:

I'm excited for your new pet, wishing you the best.
 

Lexpharaoh

New Member
Messages
2
The important thing is to take things slowly with your new animal. It can take months for your tegu to fully adjust. My Tegu was extremely unsocialized when I got him. You could not even get your hand near him without him biting or running away.

I'm not an expert but he's definitely not full grown. probably around 8-10 months?? I can't tell the sex right now, but you'll know soon enough. Sometimes when they urinate their hemipenes pop out if they are male. also males get larger and their cheeks will continue to get bigger.

I would definitely not recommend picking him up (unless you have to) for a while, until he gets used to your presence and being handled. If he doesn't let you pet him at all, start by just placing your hand in the cage and letting him lick you and walk around you. Just spend alot of time sitting next to his cage, or with part of your body in the cage. Make slow and deliberate movements when you do pet him. Mine still doesn't like to be picked up all that much and will sometimes struggle. When picking your tegu up it is also important to have the correct hold on them:

I'm excited for your new pet, wishing you the best.
Thank you! I really appreciate the advice. Unfortunately, I think I am in for a crash course considering he is displaying tell tale signs of brumation.
 
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