I’d say maybe most herpetologists don’t care too much about whether their reptiles like them or not. They usually have a large collection of snakes, lizards, turtles and even frogs. They may appear to be well cared for on a physical level and neglected on a personal level. Reptiles are also known as “exotic pets.” The reptile trade is scandalous and many people, including myself, do not support this trade. About ninety-five percent of animals that die will be poorly transported and inadequately cared for on their journey to and from different countries.
As children, animals are a reflection of their home life, and their happiness and contentment will depend largely on the quality time you are willing to give them. Reptiles are very ancient creatures that go back a long way in history. All reptiles are ectothermic, so they show a slightly different affection than a cat or dog. In the wild they can almost stop their heart beating. They have the ability to slow down their winter metabolism to hibernate, this is also known as brumation.
I have had a pet lizard since just two weeks old, it is a bad and contented twelve year old. He acts like a slow-moving dog. He has been tamed, for example when I call him he will usually respond by turning his body around and looking in the direction of my voice. I need to call his name several times before he becomes distant to me. Reptiles need not be fed daily. They can go weeks on end without food especially if they are in hibernation mode. How do you know your reptile likes you?
They will feel comfortable around you. If you have built a really successful bond they will allow you to feed them manually without biting you. This is the strongest indication that they have accepted you as their trusted friend.
When my pet wants attention, he’ll stick his head out of his enclosure indicating he wants to come out running around. He has now decided that he wants to eat his mushrooms of plastic spoon once a week. This unusual practice occurred after he had surgery on his tummy two years ago to remove a fatty tumor. He is looking forward to being spoon fed and knows when I’m preparing his food. One would think he was almost psychic.
My “Tilly” snake used to take off my glasses when she wanted my attention to smooth my face much like what a cat does. She would always choose the most awkward time to do this. I never disappointed him. I loved their cold-blooded affection and felt honored that my pets allowed me to become so addicted to them. Many reptile handlers cannot say they have been so close to a reptile. Building a reliable bond between you and your reptile takes time, patience and consistency especially with reptiles. These cold-blooded beauties have captivated me for many years. I have watched their antics in the wild marvel at their spontaneous ability to change color so quickly and often because of their different moods and temperatures of the day. They are very diverse animals and well adapted for survival in the wild. As a reptile handler, I’ve learned that you can never own them. You share your time and your passionate passion with you. I have a lovely bond with my Abbott pet lizard.