Acquired: Online breeder / seller,
Rescue / shelter organization,
Worked with pet (didn’t own)
Ohio, United States
Posted Aug 23, 2015
This species is one that - unless you dedicate an incredible amount of time to - will demand to be left alone. I have yet to meet a tame Nile Monitor although they do exist but only very experienced keepers have accomplished that. From my 13 years keeping reptiles, I've seen that ANY animal can be tamed with the time and patience but it's not an easy task!
I've been bite by two Nile Monitors in my time caring for them. The hatchling latched onto my finger and the 3 foot adult let go. I have found that if you are completely still when bitten by one of these lizards, no matter how badly it hurts, they will let go sooner because if you freak out and move around, they will bite harder and can do serious damage. Because of all this, keep children away from these animals and do not purchase one for a child!
Nile Monitors need a large dish of water available at all times. A warm and cool side of the enclosure is required as well as a basking area. They are alert and when food is presented, they are quick to attack. Mice are good for adults and they hardly refuse meals! Hatchlings enjoy crickets and things that move fast. My baby Monitor wouldn't eat mealworms because they were slow but when I offered her crickets, she went right for them and enjoyed chasing them down.
These amazing lizards should not be taken lightly as pets! They need lots of respect and understanding. Having patience is an important trait for keeping a Nile Monitor. They are most definitely interesting to observe and learn about but do require LOTS of space. Be careful when considering this animal - they are available for cheap but are expensive in the long run!