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Wriggles - My lovely EASTERN WATER SKINK

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 2:44 am
by kingofnobbys
This is my adorable water skink , her name is Wriggles and she was about 8 years old when she passed away in her sleep , she was a rescued wild skink who was accidentally whipper snipped (she was too curious for her own good and I'd known her since she was a little baby (as a long term resident under my house and in my shed , I regularly gave her mealworms as a treat and she earnt her name because of her super expressive head nods and tail wriggling when she was anticipating more yummy worms from me).

She was always super inquisitive.

We rescued her when she was about 4 years old (actually thought she was dead when we found her under the back steps , and after several months her deep whippersnipper cuts on her back were finally healed so we released her in our backyard but she made it clear she wanted to be inside because she kept coming inside , so we decided to give her a permanent home.

She was megatame , loved crawling all over me and the coffee table, really loved a nice snuggle in my open cupped hand or on my tummy in the crook of my elbow or under my cupped hand, or up under my chin, or on the back of neck.

Some of her fav spots :

in pocket for nap.

snuggles on my tummy in the crook of my elbow

my thumb was a perfect pillow.

I thought I'd lost her , wife found her using my short sleeve as a hammock .... loved it there.

some of her fav things

cruising my shoulders/back/neck , she would come when called and this was her typical expression on coming back were I can see her "what's going on ? ...."

don't stop the under neck rub.....

She loved her crickets, silkworms, mealworms (lavae, pupae and beetles) and was very food orientated (in that if she heard and smelt food being prepared she wanted to watch).

She was so tame she'll even allow my 4 year old grandson to stroke her on the back and top of her head.

She was very smart, came when I called her by name (if she's on my back or back of my shoulder).

Being a water skink she adored a good drink of water and loved splashing about in her water hole (went nuts in there and obviously had heaps of fun).

She also enjoyed doing hand acrobatics (like a little monkey) even used her tail in prehensile manner.


Re: Wriggles - My lovely EASTERN WATER SKINK

Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 5:04 am
by kingofnobbys
Missing image belonging to the above post.

She was wonderful to interact with and have a game (on her terms) with.

Yes .... she was a very special little skink , even the vet who treated her injuries fell in love with her outgoing personality.

Re: Wriggles - My lovely EASTERN WATER SKINK

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:04 am
by splashy07
Awwwww! What a sweet thing...your story brought me to tears...
You are an absolute sweetheart to have given her such a life. Sure wish every animal story I hear was like this
one (with the exception of her passing, of course). Maybe another lucky one will show itself??

Re: Wriggles - My lovely EASTERN WATER SKINK

Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:01 pm
by kingofnobbys
Wriggles was my second rescue.

My first was a juvenile water skink who I rescued from next door's cat who was in hot pursuit of him across our front lawn, I just happened to be sitting on my front steps while feeding another water skink at the time, I immediately stood up and dashed across to position my self so I was inbetween the little skink and the killer cat from next door who I had kick to stop, and then I quickly scooped up the little injured and tail-less skink to rescue him and check him.

Poor little guy had been bitten or clawed in the side of his head (he had a nasty eye and jaw injury) so I took him a reptile vet who asked me if I wanted to leave him with them or take him home to care for him. This was a no brainer to me - of cause I was willing to care for him and help him recover and heal, so the vet showed me how to give him oral antibiotics, and to feed him by syringe (he had a very sore mouth so I had to be super careful and gentle) , to give him IM broadspectrum antibiotics (cats have very nasty germ on their claws and teeth) and how to give him liquid calcium to help build him up and I was asked to bring him back in 2 weeks.

I found the RSPCA was worthless , I contacted them and they told me to put him back where I found him and let nature take it's course.
And there are no WIRES reptile rescuers / rehabilitators closer than 4 hrs drive from here and the local reptile club showed zero interest in helping, so since the vet said he was going to need intensive care for several weeks and they would take him in back couldn't devote as much time and effort as a retired man like I could , we decided it was best for him to come back home with me and be treated / rehabilitated as much as possible under their supervision but my care.

He was given the name Lucky , and while he really hated the taste of the oral antibtiotic and the needles every 3rd day (I was always terrified i'd impale him on a needle because he was so small (5g) and so squirmy when he twigged to what was going to happen) , he became a great little pet and soon tamed up - I think even wild animals know when you are trying to help them - and he was much the same as Wriggles wrt antics only he really loved tummy tickles and would lay right back in my hand and look into my eyes.
The vets all fell in love little Lucky and after a few months of intensive care from me he came good and started to thrive and the vets decided he no longer needed the antibiotics , and after 6 months he had renegerated his tail and no longer looked like a stumpy. But because he had lost his left eye and had a broken lower left jaw, he was not capable of fending for himself so he became a very pampered and much loved pet.

Unfortunately (and the vets warned me at the start that this could happen because of the highly resistant nature of the bacteria on cat claws and teeth) after 9 months with us he suddenly took very ill (sicked up) and next morning I found him very limp and laboring for breath, and he died cupped in my hand while I arranging to make an emergency dash to the vet with him. Turned out when a necropsy was done he had a hidden abscess in his chest that had burst and the massive SI that resulted killed him - the vet attributed this to the cat attack.
Needless to say I was emotionally shattered as I'd become very fond of Lucky , he'd grown from about 5g to 18g and seemed be thriving , the vets were very pleased with him and all came in to say hi to him when I brought him in for checkup on a monthly basis - and as shocked as I was by his sudden illness and death.

A few months of after this I bought my two bluetongue skinks as babies.

We lost our big beardie boy a few months before we lost Wiggles (aneurism on jugular misdiagonised by another vet as an abscess - died at 3 yrs old in recovery after surgery , never woke up) and a couple of weeks ago we suddenly and inexplicably lost our big 5 year old girl beardie who suddenly took ill one afternoon and was dead with a few hours).

So we currently are down to two beardies (16 months old) , the bluetongues who are about 7 years old now, and a little wild juvenile water skink who has been coming inside this summer. She (i'm pretty sure it's a girl) earns her keep by hunting down roaches and spiders that find their way inside , and rogue crickets (who have escaped me) and she's made herself quite at home as I often see her sitting on the head of the lounge and I now put down a little plastic lid with some water in it for him and set up an old 26W UVB200 in an old dome reflector (I've tested it's output and like a UVB150 now which is perfect for BTS and water skinks ) on a Komodo lamp stand so she can get some UVA and UVB .
I've restarted buying mealworms , just for her and the tribe of water skinks who live outside and under the house , they LOVE mealworms and score the resently dead crickets and left over beardie and BTS salad , so they probably the best fed water skinks in town , and some will even take crickets , roaches or mealworms from my open hand. Water skinks are fabulous little skinks and cheekiness seems to a trait they all share - well with me and my wife and grandson anyway (he loves feeding the wild skinks when he's here - it's the highlight of his visit).

Unfortunately , captive bred water skinks are very hard to locate , very few breeders have them , focusing more on dragons and larger skinks and geckos and monitors. So much as I've love to buy a breeding group to set up small colony (legally) I have to content myself with my little house guest (who comes and goes as she pleases) and the water skinks who live in my garden and under my house and in my shed.

Would I take in another injured wild lizard ? yes .... in a heartbeat.