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why do some tegu's go nuts when taken outside?


New Member
so i have 2 male tegu's one 2ft the other 3ft. recently its been nice out in new england so i have been taking them outside to get natural sunlight but i noticed that my larger one turns into a nut when hes outside by himself tail whipping and hissing trying to run off and attempting to bite me so obviously he doesn't go out as much since its really stressful on both of us. but my smaller one i take out alot more often but even the first time i took him out he was perfect he walks in circles around my front yard and if im sitting in the grass he will come up to me and lay on me or go check out my dogs and never acts up. but its not like my larger one has any of that i make sure to sit in reaching distance in case he decides to bolt and my dogs arent around and we are in a seperate part of that yard.I'd really like to change his attitude taking him outside because as soon as i go in the front door hes him old self again, could it be all the smells? if so why doesnt my other tegu freak out?


New Member
I think it could just be a personal thing. I've had many different types of pets and they all react differently to outdoors. Some won't mind at all, they'll go outside and walk around, have fun and be calm. Other's are scared of the outdoors, my spectacled parrotlet for example FREAKS when she even goes near a screen door and sees outside. (even though before she could fly i'd take her outside all the time and she'd hop around the grass and walk around outside no problem) If I tried to bring her out now she'd be really scared, just going towards the door she pulls back and sometimes flies away from it. (So it's not just smells) I think it's the HUGE space, sky, plus ALL different things moving (even trees and plants) as well as the ambient sounds of the air mixed with all different people, animal, machine, wind chime, bird, and ALL the other possible noises around. That along with all the smells is just a shock for them. Some animals deal with it, some get scared for a while then get used to it, and some might just be REALLY scared. If you have a screen door you can sit by and look out almost like you are outside (or if you can sit right outside the door and hold the tegu without problems at the door) id start with either of these and just have him sit near it and realize theres nothing to be worried about. looking out an open or screen door is a lot less stressful since its still technically inside. after doing this for a while id try to take small steps on getting him more used to being outside. maybe giving him a place to hide while outside would help too so he can run in it if scared (then still be seeing whats out there and hearing all the sounds and smelling everything while feeling safe.


New Member
Our best lightning is still like living in a dim cave. It may be enough to exist on but is not even close to the subtleties of the sun outside and its affects on the environment around them. Plus knowing your environment is important for predators like a tegu or Cat. My cat completely changes when he gets outside. Suddenly a whole new world to deal with.


1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
Central FL
When you are inside, the ceiling is probably 8-12ft and there are walls. It is a small enclosure with a limited and familiar set of sights and sounds. Then go outside with unlimited ceiling space, no walls, leaves moving, birds flying, all sorts of noises. It is a matter of sensory overload. Different animals are going to react in different ways.


New Member
Yep, sensory over-load - even for larger tegus.

If they aren't used to being outside, it takes them awhile to adjust and become aware of their new surroundings.

Surely you've seen clips of tranquilized animals (bears, lions, tigers etc) that are captured, tagged then let loose into the wild again. The very first time they step foot outside of the cage, they all look like they're in a state of shock and constantly look around and sniff everything - proceeding with caution until they bolt off.

Chances are, your tegu is just uncomfortable being outside atm. Just take him out as much as possible - maybe hold him while you do so and walk around with him in your arms. Let him lick different things while you continue to hold him. Talk to him, reassure him and just act like he's a 2 year old child because many times tegus respond like little kids that are scared, shy and unsure of themselves.

In time, they both grow, gain confidence and it's all good. Until then, it's just a matter of slow conditioning.

He'll settle down. Good luck.

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