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Spiny tailed iguana

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  • marilyn_3903
    Hello to the list. I am a new member, having become an iguana owner quite by accident. I am a wildlife rehabber, and as such, I am often brought all kinds
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 2, 2008
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      Hello to the list. I am a new member, having become an iguana owner quite by accident. I am a wildlife rehabber, and as such, I am often brought all kinds of animals. My daughter's friend found an iguana following Hurricane Ike. (Houston, Texas) Since she didn't want it, it was given to me. I didn't know what kind it was, but have since found out that it is a Spiny tailed iguana (Ctenosaura similis). I've read where they are found now in Florida and south Texas. I live near Galveston, more s/e than south Texas.

      I have read a little and understand that they become big and aggressive. I don't think I can find a good home for this creature. I could keep it and build an outdoor habitat for it, if that would work. I am having a green house built next week, and could add on a wing for the iguana. In the meantime, I have priced a 40 gallon set up to hold him, complete with lights, etc. He is about 12-14" long. Would that be big enough to hold him over the winter this year?

      I understand that they have very specific dietary requirements, and I am willing to take care of him, but I have so much to learn, in a very short time. And I know, like all things, that learning is a forever on going experience.

      I know that they like to dig. I receive pet food donations for my wildlife and in it last week was a bag of substrate for reptiles, so that is what I put in the bottom of the temporary aquarium, and this morning he has definitely been digging in it.

      My questions are...would I be doing the right thing trying to keep this iguana? I don't mind that it may not ever be tame. I am used to working with wild creatures and don't expect them to be tame. I don't know what else to do with it, because I don't know anyone who is conscientious enough to give it a good home.

      Since it likes to dig...what substrate should I use? I read that alfalfa is good. Assuming that is alfalfa hay. What do you who own spiny tailed iguanas use?

      I don't know what else to do with this poor creature. I can give it a good diet...altho what I was told to feed it last night was probably not very good...was told to give him romaine and cucumber, shredded up. He did eat it tho. I can go get fresh vegetables and prepare him a better meal. As someone who has spent up to $240 a month buying yogurt for possums, I don't mind spending money to buy fresh vegetables, fruit and whatever is needed for the iguana.

      I need some advice, quickly. I can settle in and learn more once I know the basics. All help is appreciated. Thank you.
    • Melissa Kaplan
      Marilyn, while there are some similarities between Iguana and Ctenosaura, they do occupy somewhat different niches in the wild, making their captive care
      Message 2 of 2 , Oct 2, 2008
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        Marilyn, while there are some similarities between Iguana and Ctenosaura,
        they do occupy somewhat different niches in the wild, making their captive
        care requirements a bit different.

        Since no Cteno owners responded here on IML, I suggest checking out the
        Cteno-specific lists and forums. There is a Cyclura & Cteno forum over on
        www.kingsnake.com, which might be good place to start.

        Good luck!

        --
        Melissa Kaplan
        www.anapsid.org
        www.lizards-in-scarves.com

        The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and
        not on our circumstances. - Martha Washington


        -----Original Message-----
        From: IguanaMail@yahoogroups.com [mailto:IguanaMail@yahoogroups.com] On
        Behalf Of marilyn_3903
        Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 8:01 AM
        To: IguanaMail@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [IguanaMail] Spiny tailed iguana

        Hello to the list. I am a new member, having become an iguana owner quite
        by accident. I am a wildlife rehabber, and as such, I am often brought all
        kinds of animals. My daughter's friend found an iguana following Hurricane
        Ike. (Houston, Texas) Since she didn't want it, it was given to me. I
        didn't know what kind it was, but have since found out that it is a Spiny
        tailed iguana (Ctenosaura similis). I've read where they are found now in
        Florida and south Texas. I live near Galveston, more s/e than south Texas.
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