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Captive FAQ

Foreword Introduction Purchasing Housing Feeding Handling Further Reading


Monitor lizards make for some of the very best reptilian captives. Full of behaviors, active, inquisitive, and beautifully colored and patterned these lizards can be a joy to keep. However, they do require large cages, frequent cage and water cleanings, and lots of food. If you are looking for a pet I advise you to look elsewhere, perhaps leopard geckos or bearded dragons would suit your needs better. If you are looking for an interesting captive that you can sit back and watch for hours then please read the rest of this FAQ.

The purpose of this document is to provide up to date information on the captive care of monitor lizards as well as answer some of the most common questions regarding monitors in captivity. Much of the available information both on the Internet and in print, is inaccurate and potentially dangerous. New techniques in husbandry have surfaced in the few years, many of them pioneered by Frank Retes of Goanna Ranch and are continuing to evolve.

We are very concerned with proper husbandry techniques and continually learning to give captives the best life possible. I hope this will be a living document and will be updated/amended to provide the most accurate and up to date information available. However this is not an answer sheet. Your monitor, your setup, and your habits are unique to you. This is a rough guide that is designed to point you in the right direction. Your answers can be found in your monitors, you just need to listen to what they tell you. Good luck and don't forget to have fun!


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