Pet of the Day

October 16, 2006

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Kermit, the Pet of the Day
Name: Kermit
Age: Unknown
Gender: Male
Kind: Red-Eyed Tree Frog
Home: Cromwell, Connecticut, USA
   Kermit is a colorful little frog who loves to sing for me every night. He's very delicate so I do not handle him much at all, but he has jumped right into my hand on one occasion. Kermit is extremely photogenic, and I look forward to many more years with him in my care. He's living high off the hog in a Cadillac of cages, with a waterfall, live plants growing in real forest soil, and an automated misting system that services his cage as well as five others.

    I've had Kermit for about one year now, and he was a resident of a pet shop in Groton, CT. According to them they'd had him "forever" before I picked him up. I'm going to assume maybe 1-2 years, which would put him maybe around three.

    I decided to get him after I had been researching Dart Frogs, and I discovered that they were not as toxic in captivity due to the fact that in the wild they obtain their toxicity from something in their diet that doesn't exist in captivity. I still opted not to risk even minor toxicity, and so began researching Red Eyed Tree Frogs. I have seen many pictures of them in National Geographic, and other such magazines... They aren't toxic, and they're absolutely stunning. Great little frogs!

    Kermit is extremely delicate, and as such, he is quite difficult to care for. He can't be handled a lot because he absorbs water directly through his skin. If I do have to pick him up, I wash my hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap before and after handling him. Either that or I put on sterile plastic gloves. According to my research, Human beings naturally emit some toxins out of our skin that can be very harmful to him. His humidity needs are very demanding, and without the misting system I have set up it'd be even more difficult to care for him.

    He will only eat live crickets, and at least one of them always seems to escape from his cage before he can eat it. He is purely noctournal, sleeps under a leaf all day, and only comes out to hunt at night. He's an ace at hiding... he blends in so well with the leaves of the peace lilly in his cage, I have difficulty finding him. He will usually suction himself onto the back of a leaf and just hang there sleeping all day long with his little legs clamped firmly to his body. I am only able to capture pictures of him if I happen to be in his cage cleaning it out a little bit and I disturb his slumber. At night, it's far too dark for me to find adequate light to get a good shot. Perhaps I need to get a better camera...

    As for his personality; I don't see him all that much because he sleeps all day, but the few times I've held him, he is fairly docile, if a little bit skittish. He does not bite, but he certainly doesn't recognize his name, play games, or do tricks, at least not intentionally. I would have to say he's more the independent type. But he does know how to pose for the camera - as you can see, that much I'll give him.

    And as of late, since I re-vamped my misting system, I've been noticing Kermit "singing" to me just about every night. As I sit at my PC, I'll occasionally hear him vocalizing. It's the cutest sound in the world! It was after he had done it a few times that I went over to see what was up, put my hand in his cage, and he jumped, landing smack dab in the middle of my open palm... then he jumped again and was hanging on the door, getting ready to jump onto the wall. I quickly ushered him back into his cage where he was safe, and closed the cage doors. He is a precious little froggie.

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