Pet of the Day

May 19, 2003

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Kermit, the Pet of the Day
Name: Kermit
Age: Nine months old
Gender: Male
Kind: Green Iguana
Home: Sunny South, Florida, USA
   Kermit is an inquisitive, intelligent, and very mischievous little iglet! He gets into everything and is very adept at solving problems. He is my best animal friend and goes everywhere with me on his very own tiny harness/leash... that is whenever he is not outside enjoying his sunshine! His favorite treats are yellow squash and romaine lettuce (romaine lettuce should not be a part of an iguana's staple diet, but only given once in a long while as a treat). He will even go as far as to run across the floor or counter to it and stand up on his hind legs - as shown in the picture. This picture was taken when he was only about four months old and about 13 inches - he is now nine months old and well over 19".

    Iguanas like Kermit make terrific pets (they are quiet, social, loving, intelligent, and relatively clean animals) but they are not for everyone. They are expensive (they require a very specific diet which cannot be bought commercially and must be prepared from scratch by the owner, a very large cage, specific uvb, heat, and humidity requirements, a lot of time investment from their human slaves, and regular vet visits to a specialized reptile vet - which can be incredibly expensive... ie, $45 for just a check up going into the hundreds or more for an emergency surgery. They get to be large (a full grown iguana gets to be about 6 feet long from head to tail), and can pose certain health risks if not taken care of properly.

    Many people buy these animals on an impulse (a baby costs only about $10) from a local pet store, and are misinformed regarding their care by unwitting but unknowing salesperson. Then when they realize just how much care is involved and the costs required, they either abandon them or give them up to an iguana adoption agency - which has led to a huge glut of abandoned pet iguanas and the overcrowding of rescue facilities. If you plan on getting an iguana ever, please do lots of research ( or are good places to start) and weigh all the costs involved, making an honest decision as to whether or not you can do this for the next 20-30 years (the common lifespan of a healthy, captive iguana). Do not expect to be able to cut corners or costs - and never buy one for a child. They can harm the ig and the ig can harm them, and children are not capable of providing the specific requirements the iguana needs. Children, if taught the proper way to handle and respect the animal, can get along very well with them since a well-socialized iguana is very gentle, but they should never be left alone together. If after all that, you still think you would like to share the life of one of these beautiful creatures, please consider adopting! There are many iguanas desperately in need of good care and a good home, and many rescuers who will love you forever for adopting!

    Kermit is handsome, green, and as I said, my best animal friend, and well worth the time and expense!

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