Pet of the Day

December 20, 2007

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McLovin, the Pet of the Day
Name: McLovin
Age: Two months old
Gender: Unknown
Kind: Tangerine Leopard Gecko
Home: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
   McLovin is a tangerine Leopard Gecko who lives in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University! During my sophomore year at college, I realized I really wanted a pet - I have cats and a dog at home, but had no animals to keep me company at school. I decided on a Leopard Gecko because they are pretty easy to maintain and are easily tamed. I started looking for geckos and found a picture of a group of tangerine hatchlings on the internet. His adorable juvenile coloring really got my attention - he was yellow and gray banded with a black and gray tail. I called the breeder, who had five hatchlings available. He told me that one baby had had to be separated from the rest because he was getting so big that he was bullying his siblings and eating all the food. I decided to pick the "Bad Gecko," paid for him over the phone, and a week later he arrived ! He had come all the way from Maine, and was pretty confused. I couldn't believe how tiny he was! He seemed a little overwhelmed by the big tank I had bought him, but quickly adjusted and now acts like he owns the whole thing. My boyfriend suggested I name him "McLovin" because he was so cocky - like the character in the movie "Superbad."

    He's nocturnal, so he spends all day snoozing in his log cave under the heat lamp and all night patrolling his domain, looking for bugs. His favorite foods are crickets, mealworms and the occasional waxworm - we only give waxworms as treats because they're very fattening. He also eats all his foods dusted in special gecko supplement to keep him healthy. When he sees a worm or a cricket moving around, his eyes get really wide and he slowly stalks toward it. Right before he pounces, he sticks his tail straight up in the air and shakes it around like a maraca because he gets so excited! After he eats, he put his little chin down on the ground and licks his lips. It's really cute! He loves to eat and has never turned down a meal. In fact, he's growing very quickly and gaining lots of weight! He has a nice fat tail, which is a sign of health. He's also starting to get his adult coloring, which is a little darker with more orange at the base of his tail.

    He's just a baby, so we don't know yet whether he's a male or a female. He's also very calm for a juvenile. I read a lot on the internet about how young geckos will scream and hiss when touched, but McLovin lets me pick him up easily. He has never hissed or screamed, and will climb right onto my hand if I put it in the cage. He loves hands because I've hand-fed him since I got him - in fact, if he sees a hand come into the tank, he runs out of his cave to see what I've brought him to eat! He has a really sweet personality and I look forward to spending many more years with him.

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