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You Guys Were Right... Empty Cage Syndrome

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by Andyc3020, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Mike , I agree with most of what you`ve said, they learn by experience, if they become familiar with our presence they often accept we mean no harm (that`s why if people don`t try they`ll never succeed). These animals (generally speaking) do not crumble when touched, neither do they hold "grudges". I`m sure you meant to say if the interaction is done the "wrong" way all monitors would be shy and defensive (not aggressive)! ;)
    Have you or the OP (or any other interested member) seen Kathy B`s videos on youtube, if not take a look ("thereptilewhisperer"). Nothing more than time and patience, as always.....
    That`s how "fully acclimated to the keeper" monitors can behave (mine have and do), even when fully supported (properly heated).
  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Maybe you can try sitting directly in front of the enclosure, making sure your head/shoulders are about level with the ground (substrate). I used to actually sit on the floor when using the laptop so I could be there a couple of hours at times, that made a tremendous difference in my Water monitor`s behaviour towards my presence over a few weeks (familiarity). In effect, 15minutes sitting a few feet away is a tiny amount of time (I know you say you spend time in the room, but that isn`t sitting right next to the tank and low down). At this stage I wouldn`t try tong feeding because he/she is clearly not yet acclimated to you (just leave food out when you`re there).
    It`s a shame they have the reputation of being so shy and untouchable, I suspect most people don`t even try. I cannot agree that keeping an animal that is permanently in terror of the keeper in a cage is treating them as "wild animals", and never having physical interaction is how it should be done (that idea`s doing the rounds on some other forums at the minute, if the animal is tailwhipping and trying to bite it`s doing great, and so is the keeper)???
    We all keep them in tiny matchboxes, the least we can do is to try and show them they are safe in our presence as far as that can be done.
  3. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    His enclosure is 7' tall and sits on the floor. that tube is about eye level when I sit in that stool. you just can't tell in that pic. are you suggesting I lay on the floor? I just want to make sure I'm understanding you correctly haha. I don't think he would even know i was there. I'm not sure if you knew the size of his cage. Substrate is about a foot deep.

    I talked to a guy on who breeds timors. He says a few of his come right up to the glass when it is feeding time and will easily eat out of his hands, so I know there is hope for this guy.

    I think the only thing that might slow the process down is he was kept in a 20 gallon fish tank for the first 6+ month of his life with only a couple inches of substrate, a piece of driftwood and a screen lid. Basking temp was probably 105 at best. The guy had no idea what he was doing.
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I didn`t know the enclosure was at floor level, that makes the idea of sitting in front with just your head/shoulders in view worthless (unless you dig a hole in the floor and sit in that)! ;)
    There`s always hope if you try, and as far as being kept under supported in the beginning it probably will make the job a little more difficult, but the alternative isn`t really an option if your interest is to continue.
    Is it possible the monitor may also have been forced handled by the first owner (if the basking temps etc weren`t sufficient it may have appeared "tame")?
    There was a member here 2 or 3 years ago that rescued a Timor monitor, it took many months but the animal did calm down to a great extent.
    As always, food`s the best weapon, maybe you can try feeding later (early evening) if you`re at work all day. You could also leave the heat/lights on longer than normal (are they on a basically 12/12 cycle now)?
  5. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    I have my time set for 14 hours of light starting at 7:00am. It gives me a few minutes before work to spend some time if i want/need to, and 4 hours after work. Sometimes I'll keep the lights on longer if I feed him late for some reason.
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Then leaving feeding `til later hopefully means he`ll be a little hungry, it`s worth a try for a couple of weeks or so.
    I have no problems with keeping the heating/lighting on 24/7 obviously providing there are cooler, darker places to retreat to, but in this case I don`t recommend it just now because you`re trying to get him used to your being there when the food`s on offer (I`m only mentioning that in case someone else suggests trying it).
  7. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I've seen some of the reptile whisperer's vids. Amazing what she has accomplished. I don't doubt that the reptiles can sense her calm demeanor.
  8. yarok

    yarok Member

    I have kept Timor monitors before. I have a never seen a tame or calm Timor monitor. extremely skittish animals. Mine used to come out for feedings but the rest of the time he was in his cave. he did come out to bask but whenever anyone walked into the room he would rush back to his cave.
  9. Andyc3020

    Andyc3020 Elite Member

    Yeah sounds pretty much like mine except mine doesn't even get excited about food.

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