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Aggressive Juvenile Green Iguana

Discussion in 'Green Iguanas' started by Damnedheart, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. Damnedheart

    Damnedheart New Member

    I've had my red morph, named appropriately Spunky Devil, for almost a year now (end of this month). Let me just say he's extra lol. He tends to hurt himself even though everything in his tank is Iggy safe. He took off another one of his claws this is his second one, don't worry it's healing nicely. But I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to make sure this doesn't happen. Some of his toes are in odd positions. I only have some sticks, a couple rocks, food and water bowls, and some eco earth in his 48 long by 24 deep (he's about 24 inches himself at the moment so this is perfect for his current size. I'm going to build his full-size adult cage when he outgrows this one). He's also aggressive. He is my second Green Iguana, my first was very docile by the time he was 5 years. He was only this aggressive for a short amount of time before I tamed him down. Spunk is taking an extremely long time to do this. I handle him regularly, pick him up from the side or below never above but he's still not having it. He doesn't let me pet him, he takes food out of my hand when I'm holding him but never when I try to hand it to him. He always whips me with his tail and attempts to bite me unless I hold him for several minutes but as soon as I put him down the cycle starts over again. Any suggestions? I have to tame him before he gets big otherwise I might end up in the hospital with stitches.
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Sorry but you are mistaken. That size tank would only be suitable for a hatchling and that not for long. A month or two at best. Iguanas are very active animals and are arboreals. To them safety is UP! And being a prey animal they tend to be a bit flighty.
    In that size enclosure, which would be more appropriate for a ground dwelling animal, the iguana feels cornered. There is nowhere to flee so fighting is the only other option. Get that adult sized enclosure built and I think you will be surprised in the behavior change.
  3. Taterbunny

    Taterbunny Member

    I'm no expert on iguanas, but I did care for one for 6 years until we gave him to someone who could accommodate his space. Honestly, it sounds like he might be frustrated and lashing out. Our iguana Atilla was always pretty nice and friendly until he got older and dissatisfied. You may have to go ahead and upgrade the space. When Atilla would grow frustrated, it was usually from the space. He would hurt himself as well, usually by ramming into the sides of his cage. Sounds like your little guy may be doing something similar.
    After you have him in a large enclosure, he might calm down a bit. I remember when my dad built a huge cage for ours, he was pretty happy for a while until he grew out of that as well. He started biting and tail whipping regularly, but was usually alright after a while being out of the cage. Iguanas are one of those lizards that basically need a whole room for themselves.
    Make sure he also has stuff to climb on, needs to be both wide and tall. Atilla's cage was about 6ft tall, 4ft wide and long, and he still grew dissatisfied with that.

    Good luck with him! :)
  4. Damnedheart

    Damnedheart New Member

    Thank you to both, I'll get on top of that as soon as I can. I read 6' tall by 8' long by 4' wide minimum. Is this correct? Also would letting him out to roam my room help his temper in the meantime (as long as its lizard safe)?
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The recommended minimum is 6ft tall 4ftx4ft. But if you have the space bigger is always better.
    Letting him out to roam at this point is a bad idea. Not only will the temps be too low but since the lizard is not socialized, you will find yourself having to chase it to retrieve it. This puts you in the position of a predator and will just reinforce the igs fear.

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