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Suddenly agressive??

Tegu Thunder

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Pittsburgh PA
My female black and white has always been very mellow and sweet. She is coming up on two years old now. The other day I had her out while I was preparing her food and I went to pick her up and she latched onto my thumb. She claimed down and did not want to let go. She bit right through my nail, and kept biting down harder till I finally got her off. I fed her and put her in her enclosure for the night, but she still seemed restless jumping at the walls of the enclosure. She hasn't acted like this before and I'm concerned about her and wondering why the change of attitude. Any help would be appreciated!
 

Walter1

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Something of a guess, but wonder if a mistaken strike at food. Possible, still hungry afterwards. Again, my first thought on it.
 

Tegu Thunder

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Pittsburgh PA
I thought that maybe too...but she didn't take time to smell me before biting like I would think she would with a bite of that nature. Also she did not let go at the point where I assume she would have realized my thumb was not her dinner, I had to remover her off my thumb somewhat forcefully. Also I never feed her anything alive so I doubt she would have associated the movement of my hand with food. What is making me nervous is she is still acting edgy again today, no bites through thankfully.
 

Jrock23

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At first I thought it could be a food response, or maybe you scared the crap out of her while she was eating.. Or she maybe be under a little bit of stress. If her behavior has changed maybe check temps, humidity, enclosure, cage, etc etc.. Something maybe triggering this behavior, especially if she never acted out like that before..
 

Walter1

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Not the enclosure size but the move itself. Typical. She'll settle in, especially fast if familiar things are there, like her old hide or water bowl, etc.
 

Tegu Thunder

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Pittsburgh PA
Here is a picture of her on my lap if that helps you determine her size...
image.jpeg
 

Walter1

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She's mature or nearly so. Could be puberty, but more likely upset by the move. Remember, this is an animal that can live a long time and invests, as it were, in knowing its surroundings for various reds. You just put it into an entirely new set of circumstances with nothing to draw on, so nervousness/fear expects I short-term. Give her a week to make the new digs her own and be sure to keep her company.
 

Walter1

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Still within normal, especially for a female which do not grow as large as males.
 

Tegu Thunder

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Pittsburgh PA
So yesterday we were laying on my bed doing nothing, I was reading a book and she seemed so be just chilling. Then out of nowhere I looked up from my book and she was latched onto me again. She bit me again! I am getting really worried. I put so much effort into training her and bonding with her and now it seems like it is all going down the drain....
 

Roadkill

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Earth
Keep in mind that despite what we want to think about these animals, they are still very much "wild" and are primarily instinct driven. I know there are lots of people out there with wonderful pets that claim their tegus would never bite, but it still happens. Quite often you will see people post a query about how their tegu was always so docile and tame, but then they took them outside/put them in a bigger enclosure/let them out to roam, and presto!, like a switch was flipped and they instantly reverted to wild, aggressive animals. There's also the fact that they each show very distinct and different personalities, there's always the chance that you've got a grumpy tegu and can't do that much to change their behaviour. They are quite intelligent animals for lizards, and show a great degree of habituating to their caretakers, but people really need to shake the idea that these guys are naturally puppy dogs. Naturally they are aggressive and vicious predators and it doesn't take much to get them to revert back to their natural state. A little change to their environment, a modification of hormone levels, and instinct kicks in.
 

Rodney Irwin

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Just a couple of things you may want to keep in mind. As Roadkill just stated, Like people, they have their own
personalities and sometimes they just have a bad day. Always remember, Just because you want to take him
out for some time together, does not necessarily mean that he feel the same way at the same time everytime.
Also, if he is basking or just finished, this is probably the worst time to handle your tegu. And Lastly,
they are opportunistic feeders and always have been. I have seen cases where the owners try to feed every day and the Gu
gets an attitude about it. While some will do every day, I have found every other or every third day is best.
 

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