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New cage, asian water monitor acting very strange and aggressive. help please.

Discussion in 'Monitor Lizard Discussion' started by Talon1992, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Talon1992

    Talon1992 New Member

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    Hello everyone. So ive had a wonderful little asian water monitor for about a year now. I got him as a rescue from a local animal shelter where he was simply labeled as " lizard". But I knew better, he was gonna be a big boy. As expected he very quickly outgrew the 50 gallon terrarium i had him. I just finished building an 8 x 8x 4 ft enclosure out of plywood and other woods safe for reptiles. i used coconut chips for bedding, hes got a basking spot and a good temperature gradient, as well as a tub for soaking. he was very curious when i first put him in, and spent most of his time exploring. when i checked in on him the next day, he had escaped. i found out where and quickly patched it up ( and have not had any escapes since). I ended up finding him in the MECHANICS of the freezer in the garage. he was very frightened, and i had to flip the freezer ( gently) on its side so he could escape. After he did he tried to bite me, he puffed up and hissed, and he wouldnt let me get close. I had to catch him with gloves and a towel. now he doesnt like it at all when i get close and puffs up. now he seems very lethargic. This is a lizard that would literally climb up to me whenever i opened his cage before. he wasnt the cuddly type, but he certainly didnt mind being handled. now hes eating a LOT less, not soaking, and hes tucking himself away and wedging himself in any little space he can find. i feel like its stress induced, but im not sure. Ive left him alone to give him time to calm down and adjust, but im really worried about the decrease in appetite, and im also worried that he will be permanently aggressive toward me. does anyone have any experience with this? or advice? ill post a picture of the enclosure from my phone in a second....
  2. Talon1992

    Talon1992 New Member

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    Here is the enclosure. One of the bulbs is out, getting a new one today B7DB7E03-4C03-49FA-B317-A2990DED3BDA.jpeg
  3. Gary

    Gary Member

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    I wouldn’t worry that you’ve done “permanent damage” to the relationship. The entire ordeal sounds quite stressful (for both of you!). Your monitor is not going to starve itself, and there frankly aren’t long-term health implications to even 2 weeks of poor apetite. Reptiles are resilient, and monitors are quite intelligent. Give it some time :) Awesome enclosure by the way.
    Skeep likes this.
  4. Zyn

    Zyn Active Member

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    What’s his hot spot those lights look to far away to be effective. Asian water monitors need humidity and something large enough to swim in. He’s going to need something even larger than that soon. Adults dwarf Tegus and 8x4x4 may only last the year. Asian water monitors also like to climb maybe build a shelf with a slope to the Heat source. I’d check out all the New England reptile stuff or nerd he is the water monitor guru
  5. AlphaAlpha

    AlphaAlpha Active Member

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    Back to square one......... be patient and let him get used to you ....seeing you through the viv, putting your hand in NOT to touch just so he/she sences you, then move closer till you get a touch and then ultimately building from that.
    Skeep likes this.
  6. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Exactly.
    AlphaAlpha likes this.

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