Off Topic About Monitor Lizards

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I know this is sorta off topic. But ive always had a fascination with monitor lizards like the savannah monitor and the black throat. I started wtih a BD to get used to the reptile-owner way of life. Anyone out there know anyone with a monitor?...and if raised as a baby are they friendly pets. I dont want a pet that will try and eat me cause monitors get fairly large.. i'd need either a gigantic cage or a small room. Its nothing i would jump into...maybe within the next 10 yrs (way down the road needless to say)


Hatchling Member
Make sure you get them when they are babies and i mean babies.... you must handle them daily otherwise they will be VERY aggressive as it is their nature. but hey are good pets i recommend the Savannah Monitor


Sub-Adult Member
We have a savannah, Esham. He's a cool guy, but he's no bearded dragon, in terms of behavior! SM care is a lot different than BD care, but it seems that you are willing to do your research about all that..

They are very aggressive animals, so daily handling is very important. We take Esham for walks around the apartment (on his leash, so we don't lose him.. and we have cats!) and he likes to swim in the tub. When he sheds, we leave him alone, other than taking him out for a soak. He's a real butt when he sheds. He doesn't like me, he hisses at me and runs from me, but he has never threatened to bite or attack me. He is not scared of the cats; in fact, they are scared of him. He knows that my SO is his caretaker. Esham is about two feet now and we have had him for about a year and a half.. I think...

Overall, they are good pets, if you are willing to put in the time and effort. I have seen videos on youtube of them climbing humans and sitting in their laps (there are a lot more vids of them eating..). Our Esham will never be that tame, and we understand that. We also know what kind of responsibility he will be at his full-grown size. I look at it like the responsibility of owning a potentially vicious dog.. Esham is not vicious, but he could someday have the ability to take off a finger.. or worse..

One thing that I think is important with SM's is that they over eat. You can feed them and feed them, and they will eat until it is physically impossible to eat more. SM's lives are significantly shorter due to obesity because people don't handle them enough and allow them exercise and most people think its cool to feed them mouse after mouse.. Be sure to find the balance of feeding to keep him healthy, and let him out for walks and long swims in the tub! He's really fun to watch in the tub!


Original Poster
Yeah thats kinda how i felt. They are kinda like owning a large dog. It all depends on how you raise them as to how their attitude is later. Another question for owners out there. I have to get a state permit for a monitor...which is understandable, but the stupid mayor in this hick-town put in a law where you cant have exotic animals (except for vietnamese pot-bellied pigs.....which he owns >.< he's really a piece of work ) If i have a STATE permit and follow the guidelines as far as the cage and caring for the large reptilian animal...can the town say anything? Just curious... Because I would love to take him outside when hes slightly larger but i dont want the town coming in and saying i have to get rid of the animal. If I was to ultimately get a monitor I would probably be in a different location than my current house, but I was just curious incase I stick around. (Rent is dirt cheap)


Sub-Adult Member
Well.... They will always be a monitor. Dogs will always be dogs; even though a big, potentially dangerous, dog thinks it's a little lap dog, it's still a big dog :)

Haha, I actually saw a news story where a guy was under his house working when he found himself face to face with a 4 foot monitor. The guy thought it was a crocodile! He was not hurt or anything, but I'm sure he came close to wetting himself! I'd like to think that Esham would never pose the escape risk that a dog would, it's apparently not impossible.. Monitors are escape artists, though. They have nothing better to do but mosey around their enclosure all day looking for a way out; if they aren't hiding.

As far as state/city allowances.. that would be something you would have to work out locally. I think, that in this case, the city ban would outweigh the state permitting, but I'm unsure about that. The town over from where I live supposedly has a ban on exotic pets, including snakes, lizards, monitors, etc; but it has a PetCo, which sells all of them.

Hehe, I know what dirt cheap rent means! Move to a smallish college town in Oklahoma. We have cheap gasoline too :wink: :blob5:
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