Why Savannah Monitors?
Savannah monitor lizards are one of the most abused animals in the reptile pet trade.
Toted as an easy to care for species it is actually a highly specialised animal that takes a long time to die in unsuitable conditions. Thousands are imported from Africa each year, almost none are bred in captivity and they are one of the most common lizard species encountered by animal rescue organisations.
Demand for the animals has been fuelled by a series of books and articles that have completely ignored the animals' specialised ecology and given the wholly incorrect impression that the animals are "easy to keep", "ideal for beginners" "will eat almost anything" etc. These publications are sold almost exclusively in pet shops simply to increase sales, and with utter disregard for the welfare of the animals. (Extracted with kind permission from Daniel Bennett of Mampam.com)
How I fell in love with a lizard
Just over 5 years ago I decided to purchase a Savannah Monitor as a gift for the love of my life, Dorothy.
Dorothy had a Savannah Monitor for seven years prior to me meeting her and after we got together I felt it would be a nice surprise gift to give her another.
Prior to this I was a snake fan, but it did not take long for me to really get attached to this lizard we named "Chomper" (From the movie "The Land Before Time") and he lived up to his namesake, Chomping down everything we offered him, and some of the things I chose to feed him were not necessarily good for him either.
Ultimatly my poor choices cost Chomper his life, My husbandry was OK, just not perfect.
By the time we noticed he was sick the damage had been done, compounded with our first veterinarian was not a reptile specialist and Chomper's condition was misdiagnosed and he was prescribed a common antibiotic used to treat animals with bacterial infections.
When this treatment failed to improve Chomper's condition we looked for a different vet and found Dr. Sara Childs-Sanford who is a reptile specialist and she performed the necessary blood work.
Chomper was diagnosed with gout. His uric acid levels were terminally high (Fatal) and after 2 visits, electrolyte infusions and even more medication Chomper still died a very painful and ugly death.
So why make this web site?
The passing of Chomper was devestating to my whole family, we will forever miss his antics and will always have a place in our hearts left empty from his loss.
Since that fateful day I have been driven to seek out the top experts in the field of monitors and their physiology,
I asked many questions, and through their kindness and understanding have accumulated this valuable information and have been driven to bring this information before you in hopes that other Savannah Monitors that find their way into the pet trade can lead healthy lives and bring happiness to other people the way Chomper did for us. I wish to thank David Kirshner, Daniel Bennett, the members of ssnakess.com and other online forums that have shared insight and experience to make this web site possible.