Gutzy the Eastern Water Skink's life with us as a pet

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kingofnobbys Sicko
A new start on 2nd October 2018.
Nearly a year since Fluffy was rescued.

Fluffy will have a friend sharing her tub soon …. I've been on the hunt for a captive bred juvenile male eastern water skink but can't find any breeders locally (nearest are in SE Qld and SA , I don't want to ship the skink).

This afternoon while I was dealing with my latest batch of 1000x medium crickets & 250x BSFL & the feeding the silkworms , I had the 30L plastic archive box sitting on the floor next to the lounge and full of crickets I'd just dumped out the calico bag they came in when I heard a loud plunk , looked down to find and regular visiting resident adult water skink who I never noticed was watching me from the lounge , had leapt off the lounge to get to the crickets.

---- thought we had a wild skink in residence for the last few weeks (as all the rogue crickets have been vanishing and I've not seen any roaches and I'd heard it behind the lounge and seen it taking a peak).
I am sure she is the same skink who has been visiting inside my house for a few years now.

There she was in the tub and chasing crickets , so I took the opportunity to catch her and put her in cricket tub for while I decided if I should make a pet of her , she wasn't overly keen about being grabbed but didn't drop her tail (good sign) and settled in the tub with a feed of 6 crickets and a superworm (which were immediately dispatched killed by being bashed against the side) .

Pretty sure this one is Gutzy , will verify this when I can get some closeups of the left and right sides of her body and head (they all have unique markings) and I'll be able to compare old photos and with new. Yes I am pretty sure this one is a girl , she's a little bigger than Fluffy and in very good condition , and is a sister or daughter or aunti of Fluffy's. She may be pregnant too (explains her very strong appetite).

She's now installed in Fluffy's (Lucky's and Wriggle's) old 10L hospital tub and seems to have settled in OK, enjoying the waterdish and spending a lot of time soaking in her water dish , and is very curious and interested in what we have been doing and was transfixed when I was hand feeding my big beardie Peppa and the when I was giving food treats to the bluetongues George and Mildred.

Thinking finishing off her taming , she's already pretty tame as I have been hand feeding her on the lounge for a few years each summer , she's going to be become a pet because the ***** girl from next door has moved back with her baby (a 22 year old girl child who now has a child of her own and no father around , dropped out of school near the end of yr 11 to go and shack up with her boyfriend who is now out of the picture) and her dammed murderous cat (I don't to risk Gutzy having a deadly encounter) and we've seen YET another cat in our yard too …. (likely hunting grrrr …. I wish i had a rifle so i could shoot it). No lizard or frog or bird corpses yet , but only a matter of time especially now were are moving into spring and breeding season for the native animals.

Put Gutzy on the coffee table In her tub and introduced Fluffy to her this evening , Fluffy looked and then dismissed her (turned around and crawled straight back onto me), Gutzy was on the otherhand very interested in how Fluffy was crawling all over me … they learn by watching (example) , so I am hoping if I do this ever day , Gutzy will become more relaxed about being handled.

kingofnobbys Sicko
Original Poster
Today 4 October 2018.
I did tell you she was already pretty tame because I've been very kind and generous to her while originally living as a baby and a juvenile in my garage , then more recently living under my house and regularly visiting inside my house (for the luxuries and food treats I kindly provided to her).

I made huge progress with GUTZY today :

Still not keen on being picked up , but soon relaxed and settles on me


and even managed our first snuggle

Fluffy is still giving Gutzy the cold shoulder …. took a quick look at her when I placed her on the coffee table next to Gutzy's 10L tub, then spotted the superworm and silkworm tubs and dismissed Gutzy to go and look at the worms. Gutzy is definitely interested in Gutzy , was standing up in the corner watching her, and seemed very interested in proceedings when I was handfeeding Fluffy some nice BSFL (yes I still handfeed Fluffy a few times a week though she takes insects (crickets , beetles, worms and pupae from a feeding dish …. raids it daily).

Never thought I'd manage a snuggle from Gutzy , the trick was to place her on my tummy and lift the front of my T-shirt over her for a few minutes (this seems to work very well in settling hyperactive lizards) , then I allowed her crawl into my left hand and she snuggled into warm area where my arm was resting on my tummy , calmed right down (breathing slowed ==> relaxed) and even managed a 10min nap before I decided that was enough for today and returned her to her 10L hospital tub (she was not amused about this).

Gutzy is not impressed with BSLF , but then Fluffy wasn't either until I started snipping the heads off the worms and squeezing some gutz out and letting Fluffy taste this (she liked the taste of the insides of BSFL).

kingofnobbys Sicko
Original Poster
Gutzy excaped this afternoon.

I had her on the coffee table with her lid part way off to refresh her water , and replace her paper bedding and my 7 yr old very boisterous and noisy grandson unexpectedly and suddenly came back from the study were he was doing some drawing with his granny.
Gutzy took fright , leapt and pushed her way past the loose lid , was on the coffee and off in flash on the floor disappearing under the lounge.
A few minutes later she was ontop the sunny part of the lounge basking and glaring at the Mouse Trap game board on the other coffee table before coming back to sit ontop the fax-phone-ans combo machine on the corner table module for a few minutes but was spooked again by the grandson (she is NOT keen on him).

Been very rainy / overcast cool/windy here since Gutzy was adopted. Sun finally came back out this afternoon and I noticed she was very active in her tub , lots of digging in corners, standing in corners trying to get lid off... she'd noticed it was sunny and I believe she wanted to get to the sun.

So she's back to being a guest (house) skink , at least for the next few days , until the grandson goes back home ….

I'm back to giving her worms and crickets as treats when she comes back out looking to bask , to warm up, and back to leaving some water out for her in plastic lid.

Was nice caring for her, and fun watching her behaviours and how she interacted with us for the last few days …. I think she'll be happier when the grandson goes , and might allow me to reinstall her in her 10L tub next week (if stays inside or keeps up with her visits).

kingofnobbys Sicko
Original Poster
Saw her basking on the sunny part of the lounge headrest this afternoon while the grandkit was doing quiet activities at the dining table ….

Didn't expect to see her again until our grandson went home and the house returned to our normal much more settled and quiet state.

kingofnobbys Sicko
Original Poster
15mins after the grandson was collected by his stepdad, and the sound level in the house went from very noisy to nice and quiet , and it went caotic to calm , Gutzy showed up and was chilling in the middle of the lounge room head nodding at me… skink talk for " I'm back , I'm hungry ,where are my bugs ?" .

6 mealworms later and she was ontop the lounge taking the sun …. and keeping an eye on me.

I've set out a feeding dish for per with some worms in it in the corner near the corner of the lounge …. If she doesn't want to live in a tube (for now) , I'm happy enough to have her visiting until she is ready.
6 mealworms later and she was ontop the lounge taking the sun ….

I've set out a feeding dish for per with some worms in it in the corner near the corner of the lounge …. If she doesn't want to live in a tube (for now) , I'm happy enough to have her visiting until she is ready.

kingofnobbys Sicko
Original Poster
Still in the house …. the mealworm pupae and lavae I leave out for her in a small dish are still disappearing (gone by the time I check the dish (at lunchtime).

Been very dismal here since she escaped , so I expect she's showing up (warming up on the lounge - in the nice warm air blowing from the aircon (in rev cycle this week) , then visiting her food dish and curling up under/behind the lounge or the TV cabinet or the buffet.

I do occasionally hear her moving about in the corner behind the corner lounge module. Hunting down rogue crickets , I've had a few get away from me and they haven't been showing up again , nor have I seen a wild roach in the house since she escaped , so I think she's found and caught and eaten them (good girl !!).
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