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Cranky Iguana Girl

Discussion in 'Green Iguanas' started by Microbiology Maniac, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. We've had our Iguana for about 2 years and she does not want to be handled. I just recently have been able to lightly stroke her legs and tail (while she is in her cage), but that's the extent of it. She particularly dislikes my husband and will go into defense mode when he gets near her. She seems healthy and we are very careful about her diet and the temperature of her environment. Can anyone Please provide tips/instructions as to what we are doing wrong? She is so precious and I really want to be able to handle her! Thank you all for any/all feedback. Take care...
     
    TamJam likes this.
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Some iguanas are just that way. Some accept us. Some do not.
    My 20 year old female was fine with me but would have nothing to do with my wife. Bowing up and tail whipping her. And she had been around her all her life.
    Have you tried hand feeding?
     
  3. I have read that some Iguanas are very difficult to offer up their trust, while others respond rather eagerly. Unfortunately, Elma is the former type. However, I am not giving up on her since she seems to tolerate me more than she does my husband. Yes, we have gotten her to tentatively eat out of our hands, but she's not even a little bit happy about it. A few days ago, she licked my hand through the wire. Not a huge accomplishment, but I was thrilled. Since she allows me to "pet" her on the lower part of her body, I wonder if/when it would be alright for me to move up towards her neck and head area. She is a fairly decent size, so I am a bit hesitant. I really want to earn her trust, so any additional suggestions would be much appreciated! Thank you so, so much for responding!
     
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, when you say the iguana licked your hand through the wire, what type of enclosure is it, and can you put a few photos up of the whole setup?
     
  5. 20171023_183402.jpg 20171023_183122.jpg Hi! Here are a couple of pics. This is in our family room, where we spend all of our time.
     
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Thank for the photos. How are you managing to stabilise the temps and humidity with the wire front, and what are the ambient and basking surface temps and humidity range, I`d also like to ask what type and wattage the heat and (UVB?) bulbs are?
     
  7. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Hi there. You said you were very careful about her diet and the temperature of her environment. What are the diet and the temperatures? And how do you maintain the correct humidity....just a moment.
    Let me say here that I know you are asking how to get your iguana to allow you to pet and be "friendly" with her. It might seem that we are not being helpful, I know, but the best place to begin is with your patience and the correct environment for her! So that's why we are asking about how she is kept, and then when that is settled, we can then get to the matter of her and your behaviour. We are helping you in the best possible way but it's going to take a bit of patience on all our parts except the iguana's, she is not patient or comfortable in the least right now.
     
  8. Thank you for your response to my question, as well as your explanation and concern. I will say here that my husband and I take both the health and well-being of Elma very seriously and we want to be responsible Iguana Parents. We have had her for around 3 years and purchased her when she was a baby after doing research as to how properly care for her. Since then, we have continued to seek information pertaining to her care, including her dietary needs. I don't mean to come off as defensive, so my apologies if that is the tone of my response. I appreciate your obvious knowledge and experience with raising Iggys, so I will try and provide you with the details of our situation. First off, in terms of Elmas' diet, she is fed twice/day. This includes collards, carrots, bell pepper, peas or fresh green beans, etc. We have a greenhouse, so we are able to grow fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the year. We occasionally give her homegrown figs, apple, grapes, etc. In the summer, we supplement her diet with fresh greens (dandelions, clover, etc). My husband raises Daylilies, and she loves the blooms once in a while. To supplement her fresh diet, we give her a small portion of Rep-Cal adult Iguana food, which she seems to really enjoy. She always has access to fresh water.
    Next to address her physical environment, we have a thermometer inside of her enclosure, which we monitor daily. The temperature hovers in the low 80's. Her heating and lighting conditions consist of a timed lighting system (off at 930pm, on at 930am). She has a UV lamp and a ceramic heat lamp, plus a basking light. In terms of the humidity level, I will say that we don't have an exact way of monitoring it - which may be an issue. We spritz her with water 1-3 times per day. We clean her cage as she "eliminates". I obviously can't read Elma's mind, but I would hope that she is not feeling miserable. I realize that the screen portion of her housing is not the perfect or preferred choice, so we are discussing alternatives. Of course, I want to handle her, but our priority has always been to ensure her health and quality of life. It is probably correct to conclude that we haven't been perfect Iguana parents, but it's not for lack of effort. Elma is a part of our family, along with our other animals, and we love her. I hope this looooong response answers your questions and I will look forward to your thoughts and advice. Thanks again for your concern for Elma's well-being.
     
  9. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Merlin? Murrindindi? Back to you experts!
    My comment is that you should try to ensure the correct humidity level in the enclosure.
    Also, that it is true that some individuals will never "like" being handled or even tolerate it, from anyone or some people, no matter how you try with him or her. I have one like that.
    One more thing - what other animals do you have, and how close to the iguana can they get?
     
  10. Thank you for your response. Yes, we have been discussing options for improving Elmas' humidity level. Plexiglass is a possibility that we are considering. Thoughts?
    We do have various other pets. Her cage sits on a stand that is approximately 3ft from the floor and her highest level away from the floor (and dogs/cats) is around 5ft. They don't seem to be concerned with her, nor she with them. She seems to respond to her name when I talk to her and she allows me to stroke her legs and gently handle her feet. I know there's a possibility that she will never quite enjoy being more physically interactive with us, but I am not giving up hope - at least not yet. At times, I feel that I've almost won her trust, but then she gives me "that look". :(
     
  11. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    I don't really have any more ideas at this point, just to say that if you have done everything to ensure her correct conditions (humidity, temperatures, diet) and that she is not being stressed out/disturbed by the other animals, then just have patience and keep trying with her, but remember that she is a wild animal. Bottom line.
     
  12. I hope we are doing everything we need to do to make her comfortable and keep her healthy. However, we are going to make some improvements to her living quarters so that the humidity level will remain more consistent and I think we are going to add more greenery as well. I have been hand feeding her and she seems to be OK with it. She gets a little nervous that my arm and hand are in her cage, but she eventually takes the food. Actually, she was very curious about my finger and licked it. I wasn't really sure of her intentions, so I was very cautious about it! Thank you for taking the time to try and help us figure this out. I hope to continue gaining her trust so that she will let us show her more affection. Fingers crossed....
     

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