Acquired: Online breeder / seller,
Worked with pet (didn’t own)
New York, United States
Posted Nov 10, 2015
Dumeril’s monitors first came to my attention during my years as a zookeeper, and have remained great favorites of mine. Active and highly intelligent, they frequent riversides and swamps in the wild, and favor semi-aquatic habitats in captivity. This complicates care somewhat, as swimming facilities for a 4-5 foot-long lizard (that also likes to climb!) are difficult to provide. Feeding them properly may tax some owners, as fish, crustaceans, frogs and large invertebrates, not rodents, comprise the bulk of their natural diet; rodent-only diets are not ideal for pets. But for folks who can provide a huge custom-built cage or a room dedicated for use as their living quarters, and varied diet containing large insects, snails, crabs and whole fish as well as rodents, these interesting lizards can make excellent pets.
Although captive-bred Dumeril’s monitors are considered easier to handle than other similarly-sized species, they are capable of inflicting severe injuries with teeth, claws and tails, and even the calmest should be handled with thick leather gloves (the ultra-sharp claws will tear skin as animal shifts when being held). Most also charge food with abandon, and will not hesitate to grab a hand or finger that gets in their way – always employ a long-handled feeding tong!