I had one wonderful desert lizard and sure wasn’t looking for another one. I often said if I ever got another one, it would be a chuckwalla. Then friends who run a reptile rescue had a chuck that they wanted to find a home for, to free up some space in their rescue. She asked me if I would like to have Chuckie, and take him and give him a good home. (She knew how I treat my little usomastyx, who is living her best life with me.)
Well yes, give me a week or so to figure out a temporary enclosure for him til I can get the right one. So I rigged up a good UV tube and heat lights in a small enclosure I had, and ordered one big enough for an almost full grown redback chuckwalla.
And then on 1/31/2022 I went to pick him up, Chuckie the chuckwalla.
This guy is a character. He’s an acrobat and a monkey and he makes me laugh. My uromastyx brumates for 2-3 months in the winter, but most male chucks do not, so he is awake every day.
Shedding is not a fun time for any lizard.
4 x 2 x 2 might be big enough for some male chucks, but not for this one. He wanted/needed to go UP. He told me that by climbing up on his tallest stick and putting his nose in the upper corner, as high up as he could go. He would sit there for an hour. He might as well have had a sign that said: UP.
I wanted a smaller enclosure to go on top of his other one, a penthouse room for Chuckie. So my son to the rescue! At a reptile show we found a small enclosure, made for a snake. I got hardware to attach the 2 together and he cut a hole in the floor of the new one, and in the ceiling of the old one. Long sticks provided a way to climb up to the hole and beyond, and in about an hour, Chuckie was UP.
You’ll notice that his glass needs cleaned. Actually it needs cleaned every day, cos chuck’s nose holes aim up, and they shoot out a liquid called snalt. Most reptiles have snalt, a combination of excess salt from their foods and snot, mucous. With chucks, they shoot theirs on their glass doors. You have a choice: you can either have clean glass doors, or you can have a chuckwalla.
So Chuckie will soon be here for a year, my little crazy monkey acrobat. He likes his house and he’s up and down all day. He likes his food, and we’ve figured out favorite staples and some fun special occasional treats too. He’s sad now that his favorite food, dandelions, are over for now, but we’re finding good substitute treats.
Soon Happy Gotchya Day, little monkey.