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Savannah Monitor Help

  1. #1
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    Question Savannah Monitor Help

    Hey, I just bought a savannah monitor last week and I have a few questions. How often should he eat? I offer food to him everyday and he doesn't always eat it. He tends to spend a lot of time in his borrow, is that normal? He is about 17" long, should I offer him a live mouse once in a while. He isn't feisty a all, he let's me pick him up, no hissing or biting. I've been trying a few things to let him get to know me, like the bathtub method which I found online, I think he liked that. Also I took him into the bathroom and sealed off all cracks and just let him roam, eventually he started to investigate me. When I bought him he was a bit skinny, now it looks like he has filled out a bit more. I don't see how cuz he has only eaten maybe 50 crickets all week. Also I don't see him basking too much, he mostly lays on his heat rock on the cool side of his cage. Any answers to my concerns would be awesome, I just want to see him live a long life and thrive. Thanks a lot.






  2. #2
    Elite Member Infernalis's Avatar
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    Re: Savannah Monitor Help

    Thanks for asking.. there is so many things wrong, please don't take it personal, we only want to help.

    I almost don't even know where to start, let's begin with your enclosure.. May we see some pictures??

    Photos are the best way to address any husbandry issues, and just judging from your post, there are many.

    Rather than re-inventing the wheel, please start out by reading this site over top to bottom, many of the issues at hand are covered, combine this site with the input from the members here, and you will be well on your way!

    The Savannah Monitor, Varanus exanthematicus

    I did notice you said "burrow" that is a step in the right direction.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Rakoladycz's Avatar
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    Re: Savannah Monitor Help

    Along with a picture of the enclosure, the specs would be nice. Ambient temps, basking temps(surface temp), relative humidity, substrate. What is the enclosure made of?

    And the answer to you rfirst question on feeding. You should be offering food daily or even twice daily and allowing it to eat as much as it would like. At 17 inches it is still growing. Once it is full grown feeding can be cut back. Do you happen to know the age of the monitor? at 17 inches it has been started elsewhere and depending could be stunted.

    Another issue which I am sure you aren't prepared for is eggs. If you post pictures we may be able to help you determine gender. Females are parthonegenic and if conditions are not right it can be a fatal situation shoud it become gravid.
    Randy


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    Re: Savannah Monitor Help

    Ya I will post pictures soon. I read that site a few days ago, very informative, it helped me set up his cage. It said a lot about handling. Is over handling him really that bad? And about the live mice, I understand that it is not part of his natural diet, but would 1 mouse a month hurt or help him?

  5. #5
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    Re: Savannah Monitor Help

    While I get those pictures. The enclosure is glass with a screen top. I read a lot about screen tops not being good because of the humidity, but I keep the humidity between 45 and 65%. Ambient temperature is 90 on the warm side and 75 on the cold side. His basking temperature is 125. The substrate is top soil with cypress mulch mixed in.

  6. #6
    Elite Member Rakoladycz's Avatar
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    Re: Savannah Monitor Help

    Handling can work for making them tractable but there are better ways in earning it's trust through food. Check out MDFmonitor's video on youtube.

    As for mice no 1 mouse is not going to hurt... Some people have raised monitors and even bred them on mice diets. I raised mine almost solely on rodents for 6 years. However feeding rodents is asking for trouble if you dont have conditions right and it probably would be safest to avoid them until you are certain conditions are right.
    Infernalis likes this.
    Randy


    0.1.0 Ball Python(Python regius) - Kyree
    1.1.0 Black Roughneck Monitor(Varanus Rudicollis) - Lestat & Levicy
    0.0.1 Black Tip Thick Tailed Scorpion (Parabuthus Liosoma) -


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  7. #7
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    Re: Savannah Monitor Help

    I do not know his age. Or gender for that matter. It may take a minute or 2 to get these pictures up. Thanks for the quick responses by the way.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Rakoladycz's Avatar
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    Re: Savannah Monitor Help

    The cypress mulch you could probably do with out. I would add some sand to your mix most definitely as top soil turns to muk when water is added.

    How are you getting you humidity levels? is it through constant misting? if so that is not good either, it is best to aluminum foil or even a piece of plywood to lay over it. This will help keep levels constant rather than spikes from misting. (Meaning eliminate the screen top, sorry)
    Randy


    0.1.0 Ball Python(Python regius) - Kyree
    1.1.0 Black Roughneck Monitor(Varanus Rudicollis) - Lestat & Levicy
    0.0.1 Black Tip Thick Tailed Scorpion (Parabuthus Liosoma) -


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    Discoid Overload! Mixed Nymphs 100 for 35$ Shipped (Will Ship Florida)

  9. #9
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    Re: Savannah Monitor Help

    Ya I was misting. Ill cover it in aluminum foil for right now I'll build a lid tomorrow. I'll have to get those pictures tomorrow, my camera is having a bad day. Check tomorrow around 7, that's when I get off work they will be up by then

  10. #10
    Elite Member BarelyBreathing's Avatar
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    Re: Savannah Monitor Help

    1. Feed him as much as he wants, as long as it's a proper diet. He should be eating crickets, roaches, cray fish, head on shrimp, fresh water crab, centipedes, millipedes, snails, emperor scorpions, fertilized quail egg with a chick inside, locusts, grasshoppers, and earth worms. Make sure all of your feeders are either purchased from a feed supply store or fresh and organic for grocery store items (shrimp, crab).

    2. It's normal for savannah monitors to be burrowing, and spending time in burrows, but these are diurnal animals who should be active and exploring during the day time. The fact that he is spending so much time in the burrow leads me to believe there is something wrong with your husbandry, which is why we need the information that previous posters have asked for.

    3. No rodents. Savannah monitors don't take them in the wild, they shouldn't take them in captivity.

    4. It could be that he has been handled extensively in his previous home, or it could be a sign of illness. His lack of activity points to the latter.

    5. Putting your monitor in the bathtub is stressful for the animal, and unnecessary if your enclosure is set up properly. This is highly NOT recommended, as several keepers have lost their animals due to drowning and stress. I recommend tong feeding to build up your monitor's trust in you, but give him two weeks to settle in. You shouldn't be handling him at all in those two weeks, simply dumping food in the enclosure, changing the water, and spot cleaning.
    Let's clear something up. "Whole prey" has nothing to do with whether or not the prey item has a back bone. "Whole prey" just means that the prey item is being fed in its entirety: brains, heart, lungs, blood, the entire animal. Whole animal+intention of feeding it to another animal=Whole Prey.

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