Smokey and the Gang
Smokey was our first Leopard Gecko which we purchased
from our local Petsmart. The
Petsmart employee that sold her to us that she was a young juvenile. However now that
we've had experience with these critters, we know that Smokey was sold to us as a late
juvenile / young adult. She was calm and easy to handle. She was also friendly yet
cautious as she walked over our hands. Smokey adapted quickly to her new home and began
eating that very night.
While reading and discussing the topic of bringing home a new Leo, I've always been told that they do not eat for the first three days and not to
panic when this happens. Also that they are very nervous in a new environment and become
stressed easily. [note: Stress leads to illness which leads to death.] Apparently our
have never had this conversation or read the book because they've all adapted quickly
and ate within 24 hours.
Next, we purchased Junior as an actual baby and watched her
grow up. We had hoped that
Junior was a male which is why it's 'Junior.' She had a little white stripe on her head
that eventually faded into her spots. We held her a lot and soon became very comfortable
with having my hand in the tank with her.
Charlotte and I would sort of pet / tickle
both Junior and Smokey under their chins which makes them raise their heads and notice
us. Once they've seen us they usually would then try to climb up on our hands like a
jungle gym. Junior normally stops at the top of the hand but has been known to keep
climbing up the arm.
We purchased Basil as a baby as well. Both Basil and Junior were purchased at Petco.
She's always been a handful. She doesn't like
being held, touched, or outside of her den very often. She is starting to get better
about it all though. For the longest time she was the fattest out of all of our Geckos.
The Albinos came as a deal from Susan at Estacada Pet. They
cost about half as much
as you can get them anywhere else. We believe that they are from the same clutch
(set of eggs) as they are about the same size and came to us together. Both of them are
female as well. Charlotte claimed hers as the faster rambunctious one and named it
Valerie or Val for short. Mine is Butters because she has a lighter shade to her skin.
So far Valerie has laid two clutches of two eggs each. And Butters has laid two clutches
as well. The first clutch had two eggs but deflated and died. The second clutch only had
one egg in it. We've began attempting to incubate the eggs in hopes of hatching and
raising our own baby geckos.
So far we have not had much luck with keeping a working
incubation tank set up. The first
time we started to incubate the eggs, our fish tank water heater burned out. We've had
to purchase the accessories to try and keep the tank warm and moist enough to properly
incubate them. As soon as we have the money we will purchase a commercial incubator.
Seth is our latest addition. We purchased him from Sandy Pet just before they were going
to ship him to a Herp (Reptile) Show. He seems to be a bit older than we thought, but
he is a friendly Gecko. He's our only male and has been successful in breeding.
When our girls are in his tank, his tail wiggles so fast that it looks like it is
vibrating. His tail has gone so fast that it throws the sand away from around it digging
a little hole. Seth is finicky about his food and does not eat mealworms or waxworms.
He does eat Adult Crickets if we remove their hind legs that the Crickets use for
jumping and defense. The legs pop off easily as a natural defense. Seth also has a taste
for Pinky Mice. Seth is a bit thin, so lately we've been feeding him Ensure High
Protein. We were told that feeding him Ensure will make him gain some weight. He is
getting perkier now, and gaining a little weight but it will take time to fatten him up
to the size of the females that we have.
Leopard Geckos will live for about twenty human years in captivity. They originated
in the Pakistan / Afghanistan region and were shipped to the U.S. where it was discovered
that Leopard Geckos thrive in Captivity. And since they do so well here, there is no
longer the need to transport natives which makes their lives a bit easier and safer.