Handling New Iguana

Just received this guy yesterday! He seems to be doing well. He was a little cold when he got here because he arrived later than he was supposed to. I put him straight under the heat lamp and after a little while he ate and started moving around some. He was super freaked out yesterday when I put food in his enclosure, took off all over the place and hung from the ceiling for a while before he came down. Same thing when I went to take the uneaten food out last night. When I put food in and changed out his water this morning, he just watched me , so I guess that’s a pretty good improvement. I know I need to give him a week or so to settle in before trying to handle him, but I was wondering if anybody had any tips on how to go about starting to handle him without him completely spazzing out. He is used to being handled before I got him, so maybe it wont be too bad once he is settled? We have him in an area where he is able to see and hear us most of the time and we have been talking to him from outside the enclosure without going in or anything.

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Give him a week to settle in without bothering too much. Don’t try handling until after that one week period. Adding more cover like branches and leaves would help. When you try to handle just sit by the enclosure to get him used to your presence. Then try to keep your hand in here and he should check it out. If he doesn’t just keep doing that every other day for a while. Once he gets a bit more used to you, you should be able to touch and pet him. From there you could try to get him onto your hand and get him used to handling. Most importantly, take your time and go at his pace. Both you and the iguana need to learn and you need to pay attention to his behavior to avoid stressing him out too much.


I am starting to get worried. He hasnt moved off the hammock in the pictures since last night. He slept there and was in the exact same spot this morning. He hasn’t even changed positions. Sometimes his eyes are closed, sometimes open. The only time he has moved is when i reached towards him to make sure he was alive. He went over to the vine next go the hammock and has been there for hours doing the same thing. Just laying there.

Have you kept iguanas before?
What is your hotspot temp?
What is your hot side temp?
What is your ambient temp?
What is your cool side temp?
What is your ambient humidity?
How many hides?
How many water bowls?
How much coverage does the enclosure have?

@welshmorphology keeps a lot of iguanas, so please tell us your enclosure in great detail and maybe she will see something off that might make a difference.

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Also, if it was an imported iguana it could have a tough time transitioning to captivity.