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Meet Tiny the Tegu

Iain

New Member
Well, had a phone call from the reptile shop yesterday saying my Tegu had arrived, so went straight from work to pick him up. Got him out of his carry crate in the shop, he seemed relaxed and curious. Had trouble getting him to go back into the travel crate lol. Got him home and let him settle in his viv, he clearly wanted the warmth after his journey but still settled. He let me get him out and handle him a little bit, sitting on the chair next to me. This morning, a lot more nervous and did make a huffing sound when handled, so I was very careful with him and he did allow me to handle him a little bit. Tonight we are having a lamb roast dinner, so cut off a few small pieces of the lamb (uncooked) for him to try. Fed him outside of his viv as don't want him to associate food with me trying to get him out. He sniffed around with his tongue, found and wolfed down the lamb so a good start. He then enjoyed about half a soft boiled egg before he decided he was full up. He is now basking in his viv. All in all, a good start I think.
Tiny the Tegu.JPG
 

Walter1

Moderator
Staff member
1,000+ Post Club
5 Year Member
Welcome. Yep, a fine start.

Next, be ready for sudden shyness for the next week or so as it realizes a new home to process. Talk to it calmly, even when it's hidden. Place worn shirt in its hide.
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
Handsome dudes! Are we sure it's a male? Just curious, he's a good size already. What a good looking animal. What is his name?
What Walter1 said about the shyness and possible mood changes was good advice - have patience, and let him lead. After being on this forum for almost 2 years now, I'd say one of the most confusing things to people is that period of adjustment that's pretty unpredictable. Some get huffy/puffy, and won't eat at all....or various other behaviors that don't "seem" to make sense. Any two Tegus can have completely different reactions to the same situation. I like that about them. One of mine was aggressive for about 10 months, the other is just a cutie pie - looking for attention.

Good luck! Sounds like you have good instincts.
 

Iain

New Member
Well, I can now say that I have been bitten by a Tegu and it hurts. A big bite seeing as he isn't fully grown and bleed for ages. I put my hand in to pet him and bang! I personally feed him outside of the viv and do not hand feed him, but I suspect prior to me that this wasn't the case as I am pretty sure he thought I was offering food. The reason I think this is that there were no signs of aggression, no huffing, postulating or retreating. In fact he appeared quiet happy and relaxed both prior to and after biting me, unlike me who felt the subsequent pain lol. A learning curve :)
 

Iain

New Member
Handsome dudes! Are we sure it's a male? Just curious, he's a good size already. What a good looking animal. What is his name?
What Walter1 said about the shyness and possible mood changes was good advice - have patience, and let him lead. After being on this forum for almost 2 years now, I'd say one of the most confusing things to people is that period of adjustment that's pretty unpredictable. Some get huffy/puffy, and won't eat at all....or various other behaviors that don't "seem" to make sense. Any two Tegus can have completely different reactions to the same situation. I like that about them. One of mine was aggressive for about 10 months, the other is just a cutie pie - looking for attention.

Good luck! Sounds like you have good instincts.
Thank you. Yes, he is male and his name is Tiny (I couldn't resist the irony when naming him).
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
Well, I can now say that I have been bitten by a Tegu and it hurts. A big bite seeing as he isn't fully grown and bleed for ages. I put my hand in to pet him and bang! I personally feed him outside of the viv and do not hand feed him, but I suspect prior to me that this wasn't the case as I am pretty sure he thought I was offering food. The reason I think this is that there were no signs of aggression, no huffing, postulating or retreating. In fact he appeared quiet happy and relaxed both prior to and after biting me, unlike me who felt the subsequent pain lol. A learning curve :)
Cool name....Skully bit me last year but with zero aggression also. I think you're spot on about Tiny just being super hungry and used to a different routine... Nonetheless - it hurt like a..... He was jumping for the mouse that was dangling from my fingers - something I'd done with him many times. (Still stupid) This particular day, I thought I'd treat him in the bathtub. He flew up out of the tub before I even got it close to him. I had even offered him mice before in the tub and he turned away. This was the first time he was game.

It was a magnificent leap on his part. Nailed it.
 

AlphaAlpha

Well-Known Member
Alpha has done this to me too ...... I regularly give him a little treat by hand and around 90% of the time he takes it so slow and gentle..... Me basically having to touch his nose with it before he'll take it but WOW when the tables turn hes quick (LOL) and I don't seem to notice a cause for this, hes no more hungry the usual it just happens....... Personally I think he just likes keeping me on my toes to let me know he can get me if he would like to....haha
 

Debita

Well-Known Member
Alpha has done this to me too ...... I regularly give him a little treat by hand and around 90% of the time he takes it so slow and gentle..... Me basically having to touch his nose with it before he'll take it but WOW when the tables turn hes quick (LOL) and I don't seem to notice a cause for this, hes no more hungry the usual it just happens....... Personally I think he just likes keeping me on my toes to let me know he can get me if he would like to....haha
Same here - and I'm sure Skully was really feeling his oats and was finally content with the tub action. It does let you know that it's possible that inadvertantly...a bite could come any time if you handle them a lot. Even the cool and calm baby (Captain) freaked me out a couple time as she was waking up, and lunged at my hand, thinking I had food. She has never been aggressive like Skully was. Just an honest misjudgment on her part. All their food is placed on ceramic dishes...she still guessed it could be something new going on.
 
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