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Iguanas/Not so sweet anymore.


He was so sweet=(
He was so sweet=(  
I've had my iguana for about 2 months now and he was fine about the first month. He wouldn't run when I went to pick him up or anything and I had him in just a 20 gallon tank the first week until I finished building my cage for him. He now has a wire mesh cage about the size of a 70-80 gallon tank or maybe larger and he has platforms he lays on to get UVB light and also has a heat lamp he lays under. Within the past month he has become more aggressive and I can not open the top without him getting into aggressive positions and tensing up and readying his tail for whipping. He whips then runs now every time his cage is opened and it is saddening, I thought we were making such great progress! How can I fix his behavior better and make him more comfortable and tame? Also, since he lashes, to get him out I put on a long sleeve jacket and a winter wool glove so he realizes my hand is not backing off when he lashes, which I believe is why he is now running too, since he has realized he isn't hurting me. He also has resorted in biting my glove or jacket as means to keep me at bay. What do I do?! I really like him and don't want to have to get rid of him.

Hi Cody,
Fun little creatures, aren't they?   What it sounds like is your green monster has settled into his new home and is now secure enough to act like.. well... act like a normal baby green iguana.  You just need to keep working with him.  With the gloves, try to find ones that are as close as possible to your skin.  With his being so young, he shouldn't be able to bite through even plain leather gloves..yet. I like the goat skin ones for working with young igs that bite.  Be sure the colors you wear are not scaring, reds and bright greens may scare him.  Watch all facial expressions... smiling can actually cause them worry as can opening your eyes big and yes, even glasses. Try not to tower over him when you are trying to get him out or do things with him.  towering over them worries them that you are a predator ready to grasp them up for a meal.
You do need to realize that igs are still considered wild animals. They are not bred as domesticated animals are.  They are bred as in wild conditions... the eggs are gathered and incubated and have no hands on after they are hatched. They are scooped up, thrown in boxes with thousands of other igs of various sizes and shipped from who knows where..with no light, heat, food or water for days or even weeks.  Then they are again dumped out, re packed and shipped yet again with no food or water or heat . I hate too say it but many may never tame and tolerate being held.  I have one that is 10 yrs old... had her since she was a tiny baby rescue... she is nasty.. will lunge at me, whip and bite.  As a full grown, 4 ft+ and 8-10 lbs... that can be a rather dangerous situation.  I have two others that are fine with being held.
There is a very good article on taming iguanas at  
Be patient and consistent and be even more patient.  It can take months or even years to tame them.


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I am well versed in all aspects of the care and keeping of green iguanas. This includes all husbandry issues pertaining to the Green Iguana. I am not a vet so I cannot answer medical questions, other than ideas for normal supplementation, removing stuck shed, dropped tail and mites and other general health questions


I own 3 green iguanas, two of which are rescues. I've had my Iguanas for 11 years. I own a yahoo group dedicated to raising healthy iguanas. I've rescued and rehabbed several young iguanas and have placed them in wonderful forever homes. I prefer taking in the "hard cases" that need critical care.

Scales and Tails Exotic Pet Rescue (one of the founding members)

One of the Co Authors of the Book "The Iguana Dens Care and Keeping of Giant Green Iguanas"

I was a vet tech for a small animal practice for 6 years.

Past/Present Clients
I own a yahoo group dedicated to raising healthy iguanas.(babyiguana) I have answered several Iguana questions on the "reptile" forum on here.

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