And she’s not so little any more. She’s growing well and likes her food and her big PVC enclosure. She’s a happy uromastyx.
She has her own little desert with the right temps, lots of room to run and explore, and dead trees to climb. From up high she has a vantage point, and she also finds treats up in the trees when she goes foraging, the way the uros have to do to find food in the desert. She has a big mountain cave to hide in at night, and the top offers several different choices of heat gradient so she can choose which temp to bask at. In the other end is her oasis, where some real plants live and the dead trees provide all kinds of adventures.
There are lots of places to hide, which is not so essential for her now, because she’s not scared in her desert; she feels pretty safe in there. But being prey animals in the desert, they never lose all that instinct to need to be able to hide. Plus it’s more adventure, to be able to go in and out of places. We provide places to go and things to do, called enrichment, to keep our captive lizards from being bored.
Lots of natural rough surfaces give her places to rub off shed when it gets loose, and also keep her toenails worn down.
Here she has a nice salad, with flowers from the yard and good varied greens for her good health. Her species comes from the Sahara, so it has to be very hot in her house. And her species lives among rocky outcroppings in areas with little vegetation. Some parts of the Sahara are open sand dunes for hundreds of miles, but not the areas where geyris come from. Food is scarce there, with maybe 1″ of rainfall in a year. All of their living conditions cause uromastyx to be very slow growers.
We try to keep their houses looking as much like where they came from as we can. We know that, although she has never been to Africa, those bred here still have an instinct that their little desert should be like where their species comes from. For instance, some species come from areas where there are no bushes or trees, only low grasses. Members of those species who were bred here will not climb up very high on anything in their house. Some other species come from places where small trees and bushes is their main food source, and the wild ones have to climb. Members from those species who were bred here will climb up several feet in their enclosures and need to be given the opportunity to do that to be happy. Instinct tells each species what their life should be like. Fascinating.
There’s a soap box to go on, about wild caught lizards compared to those bred here. The wild catch process is horrible and so many of them die, in the capture process and especially the transportation. Others live to arrive at pet stores and expos; sick, injured, full of gut parasites etc. Those are bought by unsuspecting inexperienced people who do all the right things and still have their uros die.
Geyri’s parents were wild caught in the Sahara. But Geyri represents what a healthy lizard can be, bred by an established breeder and raised according to the best husbandry information there is. Good breeders bring their wild caught breeders into the best health before they allow them to breed, making sure the babies will be healthy. She came from Phillip Lietz at AridsOnly. You can find him on FB, Twitter and Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/aridsonly/ He also breeds chuckwallas and several other species of desert lizards.
She weighed 12 grams the day she arrived from her flight and truck ride. She arrived hungry, and found a dish of good food waiting for her. Radicchio was the first thing she picked out and she still likes it.
She weighs 59 grams now and is about 3x as long. People comment about how nice her tail is. A uro’s tail gets longer in proportion to their body as they get older.
So it’s soon Happy Hatch Day to Geyri.