Savannah Monitor a.k.a Varanus exanthematicus
Intro to Savannah Monitors
Savannah Monitors are a popular pet monitor lizard. This medium sized lizard can be found in the majority of Africa. The demand for these modern dinosaurs are due their price range and size. With proper care and enrichment they can make rewarding pets.
Savannah Monitor Care
Savannah Monitors can grow 2-4 feet. Babies are commonly kept in 20 gallon tanks, whereas adults must go into 4-8ft enclosures (depending on their size). Though these monitor lizards are primarily ground dwellers and diggers, they will utilize some vertical space. You may decorate their enclosures with foliage, caves, and logs as this may give them enrichment. A common mistake that pet keepers make when keeping these lizards is feeding them. In captivity, they should feed primarily on a variety of appropriately sized insects, NOT RODENTS. If you want to feed rodents to your Savannah Monitor, make it a very rare treat.
Unfortunately due to dietary mistakes by inexperienced keepers, most pet Savannah Monitors rarely make it into adulthood. However, if your care is proper, they can live 15+ years. They need a basking temperature of ~120 degrees F, an ambient temperature of ~85 degrees F, and a humidity level of 40-50%. Combine that with a Desert UVB and your Savannah is ready for success!
Savannah Monitors For Sale in the Pet Trade
Captive Bred Savannah Monitors are not common because of their very short breeding windows. The majority of these lizards that are in the pet trade are Wild Caught Imported Animals. Though imported animals may have a negative stigma, these are brought in legally with proper paperwork and in quantities that are allowed through governing laws. If you are an intermediate reptile keeper and want a medium sized, intelligent, desert dwelling monitor lizard for a reasonable price, this reptile may be for you.