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Escape Attempts - Needy tegu help

Discussion in 'Extreme Giant (Chaco White Giant) Tegu Discussion' started by FluffyGoo, Jul 22, 2017.

  1. FluffyGoo

    FluffyGoo New Member

    Jun 8, 2017
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    Hello everyone,

    Trying to figure out exactly what's going on with my hatchling tegu by the name of Haru. Even though sex is unknown I'm going to refer to it as she.
    Haru seems to have an extreme desire to attempt to escape all the time and unfortunately at the risk of safety.


    40 gallon breeder.
    Eco-earth substrate.
    Basking temp 110 w/ 100w Powersun. *Note: Tried slightly higher temps but she refused to bask under it.
    Ambient temps 70 - 85
    Humidity 65 - 85%


    Shrimp, salmon, liver, pinkies, kiwi, grapes, mango, chicken eggs, quail eggs, strawberries, ground turkey
    Everything dusted with calcium with the exception of pinkies. *Note: She hates insects of all kind.


    I received Haru on June 6th.
    At first all she did was hide and sleep for a few days. I almost never saw her to the point where I was starting to get concerned she was even alive.
    A few days in I came home and found her, surprisingly, in my kitchen. She was hardly moving and very cold. Rushed her to the nearest reptile vet where they said she most likely had a concussion and they doubted she was going to make it since she was so young. She sat in ICU getting oxygen for two days. I decided to take her home even though she wasn't improving to get her under better heat and uvb.
    Syringe fed her food and medicine for a few weeks and thankfully she made a full recovery.
    Now, because I had to give her medicine twice at night I had to take her repeatedly out of her hide every night and hold her for awhile between doses before putting her back to sleep.

    Lesson learned: Add several extra security clamps to the top of her cage and remove tall log.

    Now, just last week she was jumping up and down in her cage trying to get at the screen top like usual. She has this tendency to use her tail as a spring to try and jump even higher. Well, she ended up landing on it wrong and partially splitting her tail in half. Happened to be right next to her enclosure so I was able to take her quickly out, clean the break and remove all substrate, etc. from her enclosure. It fell off naturally during the night and now she's missing 2 inches off her beautiful tail. It's healing just fine though and hasn't stopped her in the slightest.


    Now, i'm already in the process of expediting the bigger enclosure I was planning due to recent events.
    She only jumps at the walls of her enclosure like a jumping bean when my boyfriend or I am home.

    I let her out, feed her, and then she crawls under my shirt to go to sleep. This happens every night after I get home from work without fail. She doesn't even bother to explore in the evenings anymore. She will not go to sleep unless she's with me and then when she's asleep i'll carefully put her back each night. She will only sleep with me.
    The weekends when i'm home all day is when she freaks out the most. I don't want to take her out all day because I want her to be able to have access to her basking lamp and proper humidity.

    My question is, is this normal behavior and how do I keep her safe? Is it okay for her to be out of her enclosure all day on the weekends? She seems to have a complete disregard for her basking spot if i'm home.

    I was fully prepared to have have to slowly build trust with my tegu and mostly be depended on for food and water.
    However, her temperament seems to be needier than I'm used to for a reptile. More like a toddler who can't be left alone for fear she'll harm herself. It's also much harder to accomplish dishes, laundry, and feeding oneself with a baby tegu sleeping under your shirt.

    In the end, I just want to ensure she is kept safe.

    Thank you in advance for any insight and help.I apologize for the short novel but I wanted to be explicit.

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  2. Walter1

    Walter1 Moderator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club 5 Year Member

    Nov 20, 2014
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    In the end, she'll adjust to your routine. Make sure that she's getting enough food at each meal. That will minimize search.
  3. Jack Curry

    Jack Curry New Member

    Apr 16, 2017
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    Agreed, also since she is just a hatchling she may feel safer and protected around you try putting a worn T-shirt in her tank to seem as if you are with her. Best of luck!