New iguana and now i'm nervous

Meganolvt

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Ok guys, I got a baby iguana 2 days ago. About 20 years ago when I was 18 years old and didn't know anything about anything, we were at a tattoo place getting pierced and some guy have gave us his iguana. She was an adult, super friendly, totally tame, and was an awesome pet. Ever since she died, i have wanted another. Well i got one.

Now, we have internet. The more I read, the more worried I am. Every single thing I read is full of warnings. They get mean. They bite. They charge you. Etc, etc. I know about male iguana aggression. I can only hope this is a female. I haven't read anything about how enjoyable and great they are. Only warning! Warning!

I have had several iguanas come in to my clinic, all adult, who were super friendly and cool (even an older male). I know all about husbandry, I preach to all our clients about it all the time. I've yet to see a mean one, but i've only had contact with mine 20 years ago and a hand full at work.

Am i crazy to be second guessing having one? Any iguana owners out there who haven't had a bad experience? This baby is scared and skittish, but i'm hoping that will pass as she grows. I'm hoping there are some people who can reassure me. Or tell me i'm crazy and don't bother to try keeping it. Help!
 

Tom

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I've been in the pet industry since the 80s. I've raised and sold dozens of green iguanas and a bunch of other Iguanid species too.

Most greens, if they are healthy and house correctly, grow up to be aggressive. Females can be worse than males in some cases. Males tend to be laid back most of the year, but sometimes have bouts of explosive unexpected aggression in spring time. Some males are just aggressive all the time, just like some females.

I've seen plenty of the gentle giants, but I've also handled and been bitten and whipped by the "normal" ones a lot too. I've never seen any reason why some go one way and others go the other way. Just seems to be an individual personality thing. Many of the large calm ones I've seen were housed too cold, too dry, and not fed properly. When their routine changed to something more appropriate for their species and their health got better, their aggression level went up.

So to answer your question: Those warnings are justified. Most of them turn out to be aggressive and make poor pets. I don't generally recommend them, even though I really like them. You'l just have to wait and see how yours turns out.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Thanks for answering, @Tom.

I hope you'll post pics and keep us updated. There are all sorts of Youtube videos on how to handle lizards and tame them down now. Never had any of that sort of instruction and sharing, when I was doing it. I'm open to learning something new and seeing how things turn out with yours.
 
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