My only lizard… so far!

I love this guy, he is a bearded dragon named “Tanami” that we adopted from a rescue centre.

Bearded dragon is the Common name of the lizard family “Pogona”, which contains 8 species. the name, unsurprisingly, comes from the beard of the lizard, which turns black if the lizard is unhappy or stressed. They are a climbing species and can spend the majority of their days clinging to branches etc in the sun. Therefore it is important to have somewhere within your dragons enclosure that it can climb onto to bask. They originate from Australia, which is why I have named mine “Tanami”, one of the deserts in Australia. They can be found in a wide range of habitats such as deserts, shrublands and Eucalyptus woodlands.

Being from Australia obviously heat is important for them, they need a basking spot on the warm side of their enclosure. This should be approximately 40 to 45° and a cool side which should be about 30°. On top of the heat, they also need UVB and UVA, this can be provided by adding the correct bulb into the vivarium. For water, I have a large water dish that gets cleaned and refilled daily. Adult dragons need a varied diet consisting of 60% vegetable ad 40%  protein in the form of live insects. The easiest way I have found to provide this is rotating 3 days veg and 2 days protein. In a standard week, mine will eat 3 bags of fresh rocket and 30 to 40 large locusts, approximately 20 each protein day. For decoration you can add in fake plants, rocks etc, however I have a substrate of calcisand and a hide he can go to if he feels unsocial and that is it.

They are a very social animal, which most people wouldn’t imagine. He thrives on being held and let to run around on the floor of a safe room. He also interacts with my cat through the glass of his enclosure, which is very cute.

All in all, he is an amazing pet and is fairly easily cared for. I wouldn’t hesitate in rescuing another or suggesting to others to do the same. There are so many unwanted pets out there, not just dogs and cats, just go to your local rescue centre and have a chat with them. We have a rescue dog and the beardie and they are the best most friendly animals. All they want is love and attention, so adopt don’t shop!! You can have a look at some photos of Tanami below and also here is a video of him eating salad (the voice in the background is my son playing xbox lol).

Gordon

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