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What kind of Monitor??

Ok guys, help a girl out here.. I am a lizzard lover and have previous had a bearded dragon and a water dragon. For a short while I also took care of a Iguana and two rainbow boas (baby sitting) so I am not totally new on reptiles.

I've always been in love with monitors, esp the komodo but that one I can dream of, but I have not done a lot of reading on them YET, I am about too.

I finally convinced my husband to let me have one, I promised to choice one that would not eat the dog nor cat but..

So... what would you recomend as a good monitor, my goal is to buy a baby one and start proper socialisation so it is also used to the other family pets. Some people have said they can go testy due to the smell of furry animals, some say it is not a problem with proper socialisation and if you have them from young age. What is true?

Wich sort is a good beginner monitor? from what I've heard again some say that some sorts are more agressive and others that are less. I'd like someone that is a bit easier to begin with.

Any tips, pointers, ideas are welcome, this is a couple of month in front of me. I just want to plan out everything good.

So hit me with all info that you got
Thanks in advance.. :)
Replies (65)
    • Depending on the room you have to house your monitor,I would say to go with a Savannah monitor. They get to about 4'-5'max.

      Or if you want something alittle bigger, go with a Nile Monitor...we are talking about a 6' monster..Lol. They have more of an attitude, but with alot of quality time you have a good chance of taming it.

      But I would say to go with the Sav, if you want one that will be really tame...
      But please do alot of research... i.e. Substrait, High temp/cool temp, diet, basking temp.

      Or just ask anybody on here, they are more than helpful.
      • Keeping lizards for 5 years ? what?, bearded dragons, leopard geckos. Those dont compare to monitor lizards. There in a class of there own. I dont have a savaanah monitor due to the fact that there all w/c.

        And I find it strange that your getting all defensive just because im trying to correct your mistakes.
        • Lets' stop the bickering and keep the thread on topic. If you do not have any useful sugestions for the OP, then please refrain from posting.
          • Iv had my savvy for just over a year now and hes about 30 inches im not expecting him to get much longer just to fill out abit more. He was my 1st monitor and i did loads of research before buying him.He is tame but i still would never trust him 100%. It takes time to tame monitors and iv heard that some monitors will never tame. Just because some one says theres is tame doesnt mean if you buy the same species that it will tame. I also have an argus monitor which is savage at the mo but he is still young and be quite painful to handle him.Good luck with what ever you choose.
          • My first monitor is a Savannah Monitor and I couldn't be happier. Worse case scenario: it'll hiss. It has never bitten me out of aggression. Is it a lot of work? Sure. All pets are a lot of work. Heck, marriage is a lot of work, and you're married, so you'll do fine with a sav. :D

            Go with a sav if it is healthy.
            • the thing is no matter how well you treat a wild animal, ANYTHING can happen that may cause it to bite you. My Sav for example is very calm, sweet, will let you hold him for hours, but if something were to startle him I could get bit as a reaction to him being scared.
              • I would go with a sav they tame very easily but yeah there are the chances of parasites but they are really good starter monitor do alot of research because eventually they need a 4x6 enclosure. and mariocartjoey i dont where you get your research from a savannah can get anywhere from4 to 5 feet mine already is working on the 21/2 to 3 feet margin so you better check into some better research and my monitor is only little over a year old
                • That was me who post that in my wife name the last post
                • Yeah def do not start out with a Nile they're just huge and most of them have a nasty attitude. Alot of Savys may carry parasites like some of you guys said. Just a heads up monitors can be very difficult to take care of. Most of them HATE being held, they may become very big and it cost alot of money to take care of them. Thats why they are def not a pet for beginers. You need a alot of patience to let them get use to you. I have had a black throat, savy and a nile. And no they did not die. And now a have a timor and my favorite, a peach throat. In my opinion I say go with the timor. They grow up to 24", they only need 50% humidity and are easy to take care of.
                  • First off don't give advice on anything you only know the basics about. It doesn't help anyone.
                    Secondly if you knew how much experience Crocdoc has had with monitors you would heed his advice.
                    Sadly that is the problem with researching on internet forums. You don't know if it is a 13 yr old giving advice or a seasoned veteran.
                    • A fat savannah monitor is an unhealthy monitor. It's very likely that it died from fatty liver disease. When normal feeding is abruptly interrupted, fat floods the blood and the liver is unable to metabolize it. Savannah's are little pigs and will eat themselves to death if you let them. They also tend to be lazy.
                      Bugs are a large part of their diet in the wild, so night crawlers or crickets and snails are good for them. They love to dig and it provides them exercise.
                      I agree that they make great pets. I took care of an adult male for about 9 months while a huge injury on his back healed. He was completely untamed
                      when he arrived in a plastic crate and smeared in feces.
                      I unscrewed the top of the crate and began washing the cage and him off with the hose, while talking to him. At first he hissed and filled himself up with air and would whip around when I got close. After about 15 minutes of talking to him and washing him i was able to touch him and within 5 minutes I picked him up, and by the following evening, he slept all night on my chest. He potty trained himself to go outside when i walked the dog. It just had to be a routine time, and the same area. If someone stopped to talk to me, he would display his penis. Talk about fugly.. I'm sure he didn't think so... (look one up on google)
                      When he was done with his business he'd go right back to my front door, and then to the garage where he liked to sleep in the day until the evening when brought him back in. I didn't ever put him back in the crate, or in a tank. Warm baths and glycerin kept him shedding and healed his back.
                      They love, Love, LOVE to be stoked ever so lightly.

                      I couldn't deal with feeding mice so I fed him a varied diet of beef-stew meat with calcium tablets shoved inside, skinless chicken with bones, fish or shrimp. I'd hold him while I got his food ready. After about a month if he wanted food he'd crawl right up on my chest. Sometimes I'd take him outside and let him dig around for bugs.

                      He'd hiss a bit when groggy, until he figured out it was me waking him up.
                      He never bit me on purpose, but came close when I had his meat in my hand, leaving me with a half dozen barely bloody scrapes a few times.
                      He didn't have trouble with the dog or cat. He was only interested in what they'd been eating, otherwise they were speed bumps. It was a sad day when he went to back to his owner.

                      Savannah's are great pets, and I'm convinced they only bite out of fear, or possibly mistake you for food. You don't need to start with a hatchling or a young one, but I've heard males are more pleasant. Parasites can be killed with medicine.
                      I have an iguana now and they are much harder to tame, developing trust for specific individuals, whereas the savannah seems less particular.
                      Crocodile monitors are in a whole different category.

                      Please buy unwanted lizards from craigslist, boards, etc., rather than from the pet store, and spend time researching the lizard's proper dietetic and health needs. There is no reason these animals should not live 15 or more years. http://www.anapsid.org/
                      • A max savaanah monitor is between 4 and 5 feet, and its not "easy" they are just not as hard to tame then most other monitors.


                        i disagree .
                        the average sav size is 3-4ft or maybe 4.5 feet,
                        although there has been 5 footers, but thats rare,

                        and yes mine sure as hell tamed down very easily.
                        i have a sub adult, bout a foot and a half sav, and before i got him be barely got handled. iv had him 3 days and iv held him every day since, and hes great now! when i got him he was a little skittish, but s'all good now
                      • G'day, Raven Darknessa. Has everyone frightened you off yet? I've only been part of the forum for about 5 days, and the posts to your request darned near scared me away!

                        As I recall, your question wasn't about how big savannah monitors grow, but what monitors make the best starter species. Right?

                        Okay, then, here's my advice (and I am not 13 years old... but I could be 13 about 4+ times! : )

                        #1 Spiny-tailed monitor (Varanus acanthurus). They rarely exceed 28-inches total length, can be adequately housed in a far smaller terrarium than needed for most other species, are about as hardy as any lizard can be, have simple husbandry requirements, are fairly easy to breed, and a bite will almost never happen (nor require stitches if it does). Drawbacks: They are 5-8 times costlier than savannah monitors, BUT they are easily acquired through breeders and at the many captive bred reptile shows.

                        #2 Savannah monitor (Varanus exanthematicus).They rarely exceed 38-inches total length (record size 53-inches, or 4.41 feet), are extremely hardy, can almost always become safely accustomed to handling, have fairly simple husbandry requirements, and are inexpensive and very easy to obtain. Drawbacks:need to be adequately housed in a quite large terrarium, must eat larger quantities of food (so costs more to keep), and a bite (which will almost never happen) from an adult may very well require stitches. Many of the specimens available today are grown on breeding farms in Africa, much as iguanas are bred in South and Central America, BUT avoid getting a very young lizard. Neonates are the toughest to care for, so hold out for an animal at least 8-inches in total length.

                        By all means AVOID THESE:
                        Nile monitors--a few may become handleable, but the overwhelming majority are fierce animals that do not "forget" that they are predators.

                        Water monitors--nice animals, but many imports have bacterial diseases, such as pneumonia, and they do become rather large (record: 110-inches, or 9.2 feet). Easy to care for after they reach about 18-inches.

                        Crocodile monitors/Tree crocodiles--beautiful, expensive, and the most dangerous of monitors because of the unique scissor-like tooth structure. That posted photo of a bite from a small animal is a mild bite! There are less traumatic ways to slit your wrists, if that is your goal...

                        I hope that helps.

                        Cheers
                        • [QUOTE=midnightdevil;318153]Thanks.. He was 11 months old. He was 3 1/2 feet long and weight he was 27 pounds. QUOTE]

                          Wow at 11 months 3.5 ft and 27 lbs ru sure about? that hey crocdoc i just measured my sav for the first time yesterday. ive had him for 5 months when i first got him he was around 3" now hes around 12"... is 3 ft in 11months normal or is mine just a runt... ill post pics of him later...
                          • You should always take lengths and weights with a grain of salt. 3 1/2 feet and 27 lbs would mean the monitor was almost cube-shaped.

                            When you say that your monitor has gone from 3" to 12", I presume you mean snout-vent length, excluding tail?
                            • hey guys ... new here ...

                              but i am a proud owner of a savannah monitor and honestly i have seen no signs of aggression from this little sucker ... unless ... you stick your hand in after he has been fed ... he is a rather timmid creature and a great starter pet ... i honestly had more aggression from my beardy and my iggy then him ...

                              hope this helps ... just do your reasearch before you buy and you will be good to go ... try and get one that someone handles a lot ... and don't be sacred by the "bite" comments there are a lot of different factors that could have caused them to bite (fear, stress, miss handling ect.) that are not metioned ... maybe others need to post warning signs they saw before the bite instead of scaring you away from these beatuiful creatures ...
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                            Raven Darknessa
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