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Re: mystery skinks

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 3:49 am
by Yeshika
It's been about a year since I last updated about these guys. George recovered from his illness, and I was preparing to move him back in with Fred. Unfortunately, Fred passed away while I was out at work. I can't assess why, but I suspect it was the same thing that affected George. He was fine that morning, and then suddenly gone.

In March this year, my cat brought a lizard inside from the garden. They're usually absolutely fine, and I set them free after some rehab, but he had decided to maul this one. Really terribly.

This is the skink, right after being pulled from the cat's mouth. He is dubbed 'Thick-Meaty', or Piccolo, or Thiccolo, depending on who you ask.

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He's a terrible, awful tyrant, who likes to destroy things and bite people. I don't really blame him, because he's missing an arm and most of the toes on one foot. Despite being generally awful, we've kept him for over half a year now, and he's grown his tail back, and kept up his ravenous appetite. I've made attempts to get him to tame down, but he is determined to not have any of that at all :( He lives in an enclosure next to George, and they posture at each other and do skink things. These skinks are colony animals, so it would be nice to house them together, however, George is so so so much smaller than him. I'm not willing to risk it. I would have released Thiccolo, if not for the fact that he has trouble climbing, and can't really run. He sort of slithers about, and flings himself.

George has grown the tiniest amount since the last update. I've come to terms with the fact that he'll never be fully grown.

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He's probably the most inquisitive of all my reptiles. He's friendly, and goes out of his way to get your attention when you pass by. Really lovely little dude. I'm hoping that with time, Thick-Meaty will calm down enough to be able to interact with properly.

Re: mystery skinks

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:56 am
by mb606587
Very cool little skinks. Glad to see the injured one is thriving under your care.

Re: mystery skinks

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:22 am
by kingofnobbys
Hard to tell from such poor photos.

Kudos to you for taking it in and helping it recover and giving it a safe home. I'm sure it'll warm to you eventually . Get some mealworms and let them become pupa, snip their heads off and squeeze out the white goo inside onto you finger , my skinks can't resist this stuff …. like even more than mealworm lavae and crickets and black soldier fly lavae. The literally try to eat my finger tip and lick it clean …. great way to earn the trust a skink and tame it.

Location context will help ( I take it this little bossy skink is a native of NZ ) , my tentative guess is (Oligosoma zelandicum)
ref https://www.reptiles.org.nz/
ref https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/82542- ... zelandicum
https://www.doc.govt.nz/our-work/reptil ... esID=13229

Re: mystery skinks

Posted: Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:24 pm
by Yeshika
I can't really get any better photos, as I don't have a dedicated camera, and these skinks move super fast. Very hard to capture.

I've got a mealworm colony, and although he certainly likes them, they haven't been much help with taming. I'm not allowed to have my hand in there to feed him, if I do he runs away or bites. I've tried tongs, which he seems to begrudgingly accept, but again, if I make any movements he doesn't like, he's gone. His favourite food is currently bloodworms. He'll tolerate us if we just stand and watch, or move about the room without paying him too much attention. Cleaning his home often results in some nasty bites, but it has to be done. I've never had an issue quite as persistent as this one, so it'll be interesting to see just how long he stays mad for :lol:

Re: mystery skinks

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:49 am
by kingofnobbys
Yeshika wrote:I can't really get any better photos, as I don't have a dedicated camera, and these skinks move super fast. Very hard to capture.

I've got a mealworm colony, and although he certainly likes them, they haven't been much help with taming. I'm not allowed to have my hand in there to feed him, if I do he runs away or bites. I've tried tongs, which he seems to begrudgingly accept, but again, if I make any movements he doesn't like, he's gone. His favourite food is currently bloodworms. He'll tolerate us if we just stand and watch, or move about the room without paying him too much attention. Cleaning his home often results in some nasty bites, but it has to be done. I've never had an issue quite as persistent as this one, so it'll be interesting to see just how long he stays mad for :lol:


OK...
That's fine, just let him see you with the tub full of worms , and let him see you depositing a few where he can see them, he'll soon get the idea that " human gives me food " do that for a few weeks and he'll be coming out to greet you and might then pluck enough courage to approach your open upturned hand to "steel" a mealworm from it.
He'll tame up soon enough , at will learn he doesn't need to fear you.

My wife and I often have wild delicate skinks and water skinks and frogs taking food from our hands in our yard , even crawl onto our hands and feet and given the chance up our legs or arms .

Just takes patience and time. Since you first have to get it used to getting food from a human , and this will help you earn it's trust.