Camila, the Leopard Gecko, Follow-Up

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So, it has been 3 weeks now since we brought Camila home from Repticon. Our daughters, Megan and Margaret, hold and play with Camila just about every night. Megan will be 6 next month. She is very responsible and has a knack for taking care of her pets. You always wonder how a new pet is going to react to a 5 year old child. Camila has been a real surprise. We just need to lay our hands palm up in Camila’s enclosure and she walks right into our hands. I did not expect this, and this may be an exception. Here are some of our experiences so far…

Reptile Enclosure

We bought a low profile reptile tank with a screen top. We thought this would be perfect for our home, because it would take up less space and we could keep it in the living room. You can tell from the pics, we had the bare minimum for keeping a gecko to start. We had a single hide, water dish, food dish, under tank heater and a Zilla Terrarium Liner. After watching 10 or so videos on the care of leopard geckos, we realized we were missing a wet hide. The problem is that when we placed a homemade wet hide in the small enclosure, there wasn’t much space for Camila to walk around. Needing more space was not enough to get a new enclosure. If you haven’t figured it out by now, we are gradually building our own zoo. Part of that zoo are our two cats, Barney and Cutie. The clincher was our cats. Cutie and Barney are absolutely mesmerized by the fact that we have a big lizard right in the living room. Camila could care less about the cats. She even comes out of her hide just to stick her nose by the cats nose against the glass. The cats however like to stand on top of the enclosure. As mentioned the enclosure has a screen top, that i was afraid the cats would rip through it when we were not home. It was time to get a new enclosure…

I decided that we needed a safer top and a bigger enclosure. Several years back, I had a special acrylic enclosure made for our hamsters. It was really a reptile enclosure that had a hinged top and a pull out drawer. I found the same company to get a new enclosure for Camila. I ordered a 15 gallon hinged top with pull out drawer. The tops usually have screen tops. The owner offered to make a solid top with drilled holes to replace the screen. The enclosure is beautiful.

For those that are interested, I bought the enclosure at http://www.reptile-enclosure.com.

Enclosure Decorations

I mentioned the wet hide earlier. We made the wet hide from a plastic container just like you see in all the you tube videos. Camila never went in it. All it was doing was taking up space. We removed the wet hide and placed some driftwood into the enclosure. We were led to believe that leopard geckos don’t really climb. As it turns out, ours does. She climbs on the driftwood all the time. She is more active then I expected. For a nocturnal animal, she comes out and plays all through the day and night. We had also bought some stacking stones from the pet store. They serve as little hideouts for crickets more then anything else. It makes feeding time more interesting.

I bought a background and sticker wrap for the enclosure the other night. The wrap is meant for a 10 or 20 gallon aquarium, but I was able to fit it to the enclosure. Megan loves that she could place stickers on the side of the enclosure. It is a nice touch if you want your aquarium to look different.

Worms vs. Crickets

This has been the most confusing aspect of having Camila. First off we don’t have any idea how old Camila was when we got her. We heard feed every couple days, to feed every day from different sources. It turns out she eats every day, 5 to 10 crickets. She has turned her nose up at mealworms and superworms. One video suggested they eat at night and we might never see her eat a worm. We placed 5 worms in her feeding dish. Day 1, 5 worms were left. Day 2, 5 worms were loose in the enclosure. Day 3, I gave up on worms. I even tried holding a moving worm in front of her nose with feeding tweezers. I watched other geckos eat worms in the videos, but Camila is not a worm gal. I am now trying to figure out my cricket strategy. I will post again when I figure it out.

We have been having a good time getting to know Camila. I think it will continue to be a good experience. I will check in again in a few weeks.

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