Acquired: Pet store
Posted Sep 14, 2015
I was out shopping one day, with my daughter, and we stopped in the pet store to buy some dog food. One of the employees there was walking around the store with a Prehensile-tailed Skink on her shoulder. She seemed proud. The skink seemed sick. I had never seen, or even heard of, a prehensile-tailed skink before. I thought he was beautiful.
I asked her if I could touch it and she said yes. It was very cold. It's nose seemed to be running. I felt so bad for this creature I didn't know what to do... so... I purchased it. It wasn't cheap. Let me just say it's a good thing I have an understanding husband.
I brought the skink home, named him Draco, and made a vet appointment. He was very sick due to the improper treatment he received at the pet store but after a lot of care and medicine he began to thrive.
Draco preferred his environment to be warm. He needed a large area to roam...even though he didn't prefer to move very much. He needed large branches to climb because he liked to be off of the ground.
If you are a person who can find beauty in a reptile then you will understand when I say skinks are gorgeous. Draco had a massive head and thick body. His tail was incredibly strong and would wrap around my arm when I held him. His coloring was beautiful. I felt like I had my own mini Godzilla.
Draco's diet consisted of greens, fruits and raw meats. He was a slow eater.
Skinks are known for their powerful jaws and even though they are hesitant to bite can inflict a lot of pain if they do. I am glad to say I never had to experience this first hand.
After several months of owning him I began to feel bad. I was giving him everything I thought he needed but I didn't feel he was happy.I didn't rescue him to make him miserable...I wanted him to have a wonderful life. So, I called our local zoo and asked them if they ever had people donate animals. They said..."Not really. Why, what do you have?" When I told them I had a prehensile-tailed skink they immediately said they would take him!
It turns out the timing was incredible. The zoo had just built a prehensile-tailed skink exhibit! I brought Draco to them right away. He had to stay in quarantine for a short time but was then "released" into their program. It was wonderful. I cried when I handed him over because I was going to miss him and because I was so happy for him.
I went back to that same pet store and told the manager they needed to be more responsible with the animals they carry. Everyone should be thoroughly trained on how to handle and care for them. I believe Draco would have passed away if left in their care.
Skinks are not an impulse purchase. They need a lot of care...proper care. They need very large enclosures, the proper environment and the proper diet.