Care Sheet For Savannah Monitor

March 19, 2017

Care Sheet For Savannah Monitor

Among the mid-sized animals in the class Reptilia which are preferred as pets, a very popular choice is the Savannah monitor. When kept in the proper environment, they can have a lifespan of 10+ years. Savannah monitors are a rugged species so they require a habitat that is relatively simple. The requirements for feeding Savannah Monitors and caring for them are also not complicated. With regular contact and handling, Savannah Monitors will eventually be domesticated and relatively easy to handle. Savannah Monitor offsprings are about 6” on the small side and can go up to 10” in size at birth and move to an adult size measuring close to 2.5’ - 3’.

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Housing

Savannah Monitors need a simple habitat with a large enough space for them to turn freely and move around. There must also be stuff they can climb on and perch on. This secure enclosure for young monitors must be at least 36”x 24”x 20”. As the young Savannah Monitors age, they will then have to be transferred to a secure enclosure with larger dimensions of about twice the size. It can be 6’x 5’x 4’ or larger. The secure enclosure must have the essentials like stout limbs they can climb and perch on. There should only be one Savannah Monitor per enclosure.

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Substrate

A Savannah Monitor has a penchant for digging/excavating so the enclosure needs a deep enough substrate that is packed tightly to be firm enough to satisfy their need to dig. We highly recommend Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate.

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Heating

The thermal gradient required for Savannah Monitors is between 78°F-88°F during the day and between 72°F-80°F at night. There should also be a basking spot that can be as hot as 110°F. Monitoring the temperature variances with a thermometer inside the enclosure is recommended so you can keep track of the warm and cool spots. You can use Infrared Ceramic Heat Emitters but you can also use incandescent lights, like the Zoo Med Basking Spot Bulbs but you have better control of the ceramic emitters because they have a thermostat.

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Lighting

For a healthy Savannah Monitor, daylight must be provided daily for about 10 to 12 hours. A diet enriched with vitamin D3 together with calcium can negate the necessity for UV light. However, Mercury Vapor Bulbs are commonly used to produce heat as well as light for Savannah Monitors. The heating/lighting bulbs should be no closer than 8” and 10” - 12” is recommended.

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Shelter

A Savannah Monitor needs a hiding place, one that is big enough to hide its body and turn freely while inside. It is like a man-cave and you can call it the Savannah Monitor cave.

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Shedding

Shedding is a part of a Savannah Monitor’s life. It will shed in patches every 4-6 weeks and they will immerse their bodies in water to help move the process along. The hide box can be stuffed with moistened sphagnum moss and this will also help move the process along.

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Water

Savannah Monitors need a pool or a tub to fully soak in so you have to provide a big enough bowl with fresh water everyday. The water bowl must be heavy enough not to tip over or it can be one with a wide base that will not tip over. The recommended location is the cool or cooler part of the habitat.

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Food

Strictly carnivorous, a Savannah Monitor will need to feed on a range of insects like crickets, waxworms, mealworms, and others on a daily basis. Full-sized adult monitors can also be fed with frozen or defrosted pinkie mice. Alternatively, popular substitutes like Ready-to-Use food like Zoo Menu Tegu & Monitor Food are readily available as well. Please do not ever leave leftover and uneaten meals in the monitor’s enclosed habitat.

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Vitamins

A healthy Savannah Monitor also needs those vitamins so sprinkling a little Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3 with Rep-Cal Calcium, calcium/Vitamin D supplement, on insect meals daily should be done. On the other hand, mice and commercially available Savannah Monitor feed don’t have to be enriched with supplements. Herptivite is a multi-vitamin supplement we recommend once or 2x a week.

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Cage Maintenance

Removal of leftovers and uneaten foods along with soiled substrate must be done daily. Clean water for drinking and soaking should be placed in that large tip proof soak tub daily. Clean the entire habitat and the cage furnishings once a week with a mild soap.

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