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LIZARDS


Keeping native creatures requires a permit, but you may find that you need to offer some assistance to a lizard to cross a road, or who has got into some place and needs a hand.

They look and sound terrifying.. with their mouths open and hissing and snarling. Stay calm, and keep your fingers away from the biting part! The best way to stop them spinning around and taking off your finger is to gently put your foot (in your shoe) on their backs with enough pressure to stop them spinning. Then with your thumb and pointer finger, grasp firmly behind their jaws, around their neck.

When you take your foot away, they will wriggle violently with their strong muscled bodies and likely poop on you so keep their underside away from you. They will inhale and “pump themselves with air” to wriggle free. Hold your grip and your calm! And take them to a safe place to release them. GOOD JOB

Lizards and other reptiles and “cold blooded” or better termed “exothermic” which means they don’t generate their own body heat like we and other mammals and birds do. This doesn’t mean they are cold! They keep their bodies at pretty much the same temperature as we do, but by “behaviorally thermo-regulating”. This means they move and posture themselves toward and away from a heat source like the sun, to keep a reasonably even body heat.

They must be warm to digest their food, and perform bodily functions. lizards in captivity must be kept in a place where there are different thermal environments for them to choose from. Like in this drawing.

Observe lizards and other reptiles when you are out in nature, and see what they are doing! In the early morning they will be basking high on a branch or rock, with their darkest skin spread out flat like a “solar collector”. In the heat of the day, they will be in the shade. They may be absent in the cold weather.. and the very hot! You might see ticks on them and in their ears! That’s ok.. its not a problem for them in small numbers.

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