We all want to hold and cuddle our pets from time to time, even us lizard lovers. Green anoles, however, are tiny (about 5-8 inches long when fully grown) and can be quite fast. So they’re not the easiest pet to handle.
While green anoles can be handled, their delicate constitution and skittish nature make them easily injured and spooked. Even if you do tame your green anole, don’t handle them very often or for long to avoid unnecessary stress.
In this article, we show you how to get your green anole used to you, what to do when you just got your green anole and how to handle it properly.
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How To Tame A Green Anole
As soon you get your green anole, you should allow your pet to acclimate to its new environment and to you.
This process takes some time as you build trust with your new pet. Here’s how you tame and bond with your green anole:
- Wait about two to three weeks to let your green anole settle in. Once it feels more comfortable in its environment, it may allow you to approach it.
- Interact with your green anole regularly, via feeding, cleaning its vivarium, and play. If the anole doesn’t want to eat from your hand, don’t try to force it: instead, toss the
foodinto the vivarium and allow it to eat by itself.
- Try approaching your anole by reaching out your hand to pat it on the head. If it stays put, that’s a sign it’s becoming more trusting. However, it’s perfectly normal for your anole to try to run away or bite your hand; your anole may just need more time or just isn’t the petting kind.
Tip: Whatever you do, never try to grab a green anole by the tail. This could cause them to drop the tail, a survival mechanism to avoid predators. While the tail does slowly regenerate over time, your trust with the green anole could be broken forever.
How To Handle A Green Anole
Once you’ve built up enough trust between you and your anole, you can start trying to handle your green anole. Don’t expect to hold them for long, or teach them tricks; anoles may be smart, but they can quickly get stressed out.
When attempting to handle a green anole, let it approach you. This shows that it trusts and is not fearful of you.
To pick up your lizard, put your thumb on its stomach and pointer finger on its back, holding it gently but firmly enough to keep it in your grip.
Don’t hold your green anole too firmly, as the lizard might struggle and get injured.
Check to make sure that your anole is comfortable. A comfortable anole may close its eyes.
Open your hand to let it lounge comfortably in your palm, or perch it on your shoulder, as the anole might get a bit too uncomfortable being gripped between your fingers.
Be careful not to hold the anole for too long, as it might freak out and run off on you. Due to anoles’ small and delicate stature, young children should be taught to handle anoles by placing a hand under the lizard’s belly.
If handling a green anole with your bare hands, be sure to wash your hands afterward as they can carry bacteria and fungi that can make you sick.
Do Green Anoles Like To Be Handled?
Not all green anoles like to be handled, but some apparently do, as evidenced by some forum posts and YouTube videos you can find on the Internet.
If you try handling your anole and it keeps trying to wriggle away, give it some space for a while.
The best practice, whether your green anole is comfortable being handled or not, is to respect its space and enjoy it from a distance.