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My New Sav Monitor

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by Ahura, Jan 8, 2009.

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  1. Ahura

    Ahura Elite Member

    Hello everyone! I am new to this forum.

    I am planning to buy a sav monitor. I have never owned a reptile before but I know a lot about them. I read forums and caresheets and books all the time. I am a reptile enthusiast but I just don't own any. I would like to get a sav monitor but I have heard it is not a good beginner reptile. I have lots of knowledge about them and I know friends that have one. I also work at a pet store. Is a savannah monitor a good choice for me? And also, I heard you can put monitors on wood shavings (not cedar) is that a good idea?
  2. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    In the words of it not being a good beginner reptile I would tend to agree.
    Mostly because of the size they grow to for food and housing requirements.
    Getting to around 4 feet and not much of it tail they require a cage footprint of 8ft x 4ft x 4ft.
    Using shavings is not a suitable substrate for them. That is one of the main issues with premature Sav deaths; the internet is full of inaccurate info.
    I recommend this book to everyone who has Savs or is thinking of purchasing.

    Many people have them but not many keep them correctly. Because they are very tough at putting up with inadequate husbandry conditions. They can live for a few years before health issues begin to arise.

    Not to slam you for your remarks but education of reptiles is no replacement for actual hands on experience.

    I would suggest a leopard gecko for your first. Or if you would like something a little larger, then perhaps a bearded dragon.
  3. Lucysfriend

    Lucysfriend Elite Member

    Or a BTS :)
    They are great fun!
  4. Ahura

    Ahura Elite Member

    Ahhhh I've taken care of leopard geckos, bearded dragons, Schneider skinks, olive skinks, before. I've just never owned them myself, lots of my friends have reptiles

    I have hands on experience. I'm not planning to buy it right away since I live in Alberta and it's cold. I'm waiting till March or April. Thanks for the info about the substrate!

    Another thing, my friend has a Sav and when he first got it he put it on half soil/sand and half wood shavings. It did not leave the wood shavings for 6 months, he would only burrow in the shavings.
  5. Ahura

    Ahura Elite Member

    I have this book:

    Savannah & Grassland Monitors
    Authors: Robert George Sprackland, Ph.D.
  6. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Just because an animal does something, does not mean it is in the animals best interest. After all, Many animals do things that are bad for them (such as dogs eating chocolate).
  7. Ahura

    Ahura Elite Member

    I have to ask one thing.
    What's the down side to having shavings?

    Can someone tell me if that book is good or not?
  8. Ahura

    Ahura Elite Member

    Thanks for the posts everyone, especially kriminaal, you were loads of help. :) I might be getting a California king or a black Mexican king instead of a sav. I still really want one. I just realized that after I saw my friends. I fell in love. lol
  9. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Welcome Ahura.

    I would say that you need to get a reptile that you really, really want and if that means getting a sav monitor, then so be it. Just promise to take the time to read everything on this site about them. Make 100% sure that you know how much the sav will cost you to set up and maintain every month and for years to come. If you have worked out the cost and you can afford to give the sav only the best care possible, then go ahead.

    It all starts with love and you mentioned that you already have that, now all you need is knowledge and money.[​IMG]
  10. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Yes it's definitely cold out there in Alberta right now.
    I have never read Roberts book. He is a member here on this site and pops his head in from time to time. I have read excerpts that he has written in the Biawak journals.
    From his reputation and these papers I would hypothesize that book on Savs would have accurate information.

    The main thing about the shavings is that they wouldn't hold humidity. At least not without getting moldy in a short period of time.

    I think this is one of the main husbandry errors of Sav owners. Underestimating the need for them to keep hydrated by appropriate levels of humidity.

    Doing proper research of the Savs and their requirements they are not a difficult species to keep. Many do have issues early on because most are wild-caught.
    Basically buying a wild-caught specimen you start off with a sick reptile and endeavor to bring them back to health. Some accomplish this but many do not.

    I am tempted time and time again to purchase a Savannah monitor. They really are a fascinating species if not only because of their ability to become tame(not that all do)
    Unfortunately I do not have the required space to house one adequately.
  11. Typhanie

    Typhanie Elite Member

    I think choosing a king as your first full-time reptile is a good choice. :) They're a little easier for a beginner, and it's certainly different to keep one than just to take care of a friend's.

    I'd love to get a sav myself. (Actually I came very close to getting the much meaner Nile. :) ) But, like Mike, I don't know that I have the space to properly keep one at the moment, and knowing how much work goes into them is a big help in making a decision. Reading up the way you are doing now will give you a good idea of what you can handle with your circumstances.

    I think you'll do just fine, whatever your choice.
  12. Ahura

    Ahura Elite Member

    Yea i know i have space to build him an enclosure and i even have a spare room. Since i wont have any other reptiles until after i finished my DMV ( ive always wanted to be a vet, always have been interested in animals since i was young, i watched zabomafoo =] )i will be able to devote everything to this little guy.

    What if i were to get a hatched egg in captivity? Even if it wasnt bred in captivity but the eggs were hatched in captivity. Would that be as good as a captive bred sav? at least free from disease or else in better health?
  13. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    That poses an interesting question. I know of no data backing up the fact an egg laid in the wild would be free of parasites or disease. Something to look into.
  14. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I'm not sure where you would get this egg.
  15. Ahura

    Ahura Elite Member

    I would not hatch the egg myself of course. Someone would have hatched it from a wild egg? I would buy it as a hatchling.
  16. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Would it not be easier just to find a breeder?
  17. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Depending on where you are from.
    Here in North America you wouldn't find such an egg.

    In Africa the pregnant females are often extracted from the wild to have them lay their eggs in captivity. The offspring would be referred to as "farmed". The females would then be set loose again. The eggs to be incubated in captivity.
    There is a much larger market for hatchlings, and it takes way to much effort on their part to extract the little ones from their environment.
  18. Ahura

    Ahura Elite Member

    Yea the problem is there aren't very many savs breeders out there any one know of one?
  19. Ahura

    Ahura Elite Member

    Some sav Q's:

    1) How do you sex a sav?
    2) Can i feed my sav feeder fish?
  20. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    The only thing that I have heard of is a males length will be about 50% body and 50% tail, while a female will have a longer bodylength to accomodate eggs. So a female might be 60% body compared to 40% tail generally speaking.

    I fed my sav feeder fish a few times when I first got her. The trouble is they will not stick their heads underwater to grab the fish and if you just throw them into the enclosure, they will jump and bounce around and their slimy skin will get substrate and everything else stuck to them and will be ingested.
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