Big lizards for pets
Up to four feet
Warm side - 85-90℉
Cool side - 80℉
Basking - 100-120℉
* If room temperature falls below 75℉ at night, may need supplemental infrared or ceramic heat for night-time
low (hot side, basking area)
high (cool side and moist box)
The natural habitat of the savannah monitor is the grassy plains (savannahs) of Africa from Senegal, east to Sudan and south to the Congo region. Savannahs often use underground burrows to stay cool and conversely, large rocks for basking.
Savannah monitors are stout-bodied lizards with short, pudgy legs, feet and toes. The toes end in short, strong, sharp claws. Savannahs range in color from light to dark tan or grey, with red highlights and large oval spots of olive or orange on the back. The bellies range from a light tan, grey or yellow color. The tail is banded and is very powerful. When frightened or threatened, savannahs puff up their body and throat, turn sideways and lash their tail to appear larger. They also use their powerful tails as "rudders" to steer themselves when swimming. The savannah’s head is flat, substantial and rectangular. The jaws of a savannah are designed for crushing the skulls and bones of prey and are therefore quite powerful. Both the upper and lower jaws are lined with hundreds of small, sharp teeth. All monitor species have forked tongues. This tongue shape helps reptiles locate the scent of their prey. Most savannahs’ tongues are purple. The skin of the savannah monitor is thick and pebbly with scales that lie flat. Savannahs are intelligent, powerful and active lizards.
NORMAL BEHAVIOR & INTERACTION:
Savannah monitors are considered the easiest monitor species to keep and tame. Monitors can grow to be four feet long and are very smart and powerful. The jaws of this lizard are designed to crush bone. Therefore, it is VERY important to tame your lizard early and KEEP him/her tame. Consistent handling and interaction will result in a pet that will tolerate and even enjoy being handled. It goes without saying that a savannah that is not tame can be dangerous. Savannahs love to dig, so their enclosure should provide for this activity. They also love to push around large pieces of wood and rocks. Savannahs are large, clumsy beasts; but are very endearing, much like a dog. Due to their intelligence, savannahs are very talented at escaping their enclosures. You will notice your lizard spending much of its day inspecting its cage to discover a new way out, or creating a new way out. Be sure to build your monitor enclosure with this in mind. Glass enclosures are always recommended, as savannahs can easily rip up mesh enclosures with their sharp claws.
Because of their size, savannah monitors should be housed alone, but a male and a female or two females can live together if there is substantial room for each lizard. Male savannahs should not be housed together as they will fight.
NOTE: DO NOT savannah monitors with other species due to the differences in care, temperatures, and the fact that some species can be highly stressed in the presence of other species.