Unfortunately there are many cases of leopard geckos being neglected by both owners and pet stores, resulting in leopard geckos being starved, kept in the wrong conditions and sometimes left for dead.
I have spent some time recently interviewing some kind owners who have rescued leopard geckos, so they can share their stories and their tips for getting the geckos healthy again.
At the end of each post I will summarise the key issues, things to take away, and best pieces of advice so hopefully it can help somebody else too.
Today I am speaking to Ryley Maddox who runs the Instagram account @ryleymaddox98 about her rescue leopard gecko, Drago.
Leopard Gecko Care: Hi, so where did you rescue Drago from? What kind of condition did you find him in?
@ryleymaddox98: My mom lives in a cul-de-sac and the house next door to hers was foreclosed on and the tenants were evicted. The days following, they piled all of their trash and furniture on the kerb for the trash pick up.
So, my family is pretty nosy (thank god) and was going through the pile to see if there was anything salvageable. Amongst garbage bags filled with trash, splinters, wood legs of chairs and sawdust, there was a foggy translucent box full of a straw hat and dirt.
My sister picked it up, and opened it only to find a skinny juvenile leopard gecko. My mom and sister immediately called me, so I swung by, picked him up and rushed him home.
Leopard Gecko Care: That is disgusting and so cruel to leave him abandoned like that. I don’t know how people can live with themselves! What did you do when you got home?
@ryleymaddox98: He was freezing and severely dehydrated. I set up a little 10 gallon quarantine tank, gave him an underground tank heater and he immediately plopped down on it and proceeded to sleep for 2 days.
Leopard Gecko Care: He’s so lucky that you found him and gave him the correct conditions straight away! How’s he doing now?
@ryleymaddox98: He progressively started to eat more and more, and he didn’t seem to have ever had supplements or supplemental heating, but he slowly gained weight gram after gram.
When I got him he was a mere 24 grams, and today we are a solid 67 grams!
The first time he stepped onto my hands to be picked up, I couldn’t stop crying.
Leopard Gecko Care: That’s amazing, you have done so well with him. Thank you so much for sharing your story!
Key points to take away:
- If you need to rehome your leopard gecko, there ARE options. Please don’t just release them into the wild where they will die, and don’t throw them away or abandon them! See: What is the best way to re-home my leopard gecko?
- It’s a good idea to quarantine your gecko if you have just rescued it, until it has been checked for parasites and diseases. You don’t want this to be passed onto any other reptiles you own.
- Make sure you know the best conditions to put your gecko into, with the correct setup and heating.