Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
  Issue 1 Vol 5 January 2010
Having a Caiman for a Pet Consider the Size In this Issue

Snake MitesA caiman is a large reptile that resembles an alligator only it doesn’t grow as large. A typical caiman can grow from six to seven feet and some that live in the wild have been known to be much larger. It is a common misconception that a caiman makes for a good pet because it doesn’t get as big as an alligator. While this is true in theory, you have to consider just how big six or seven feet really is.

It’s sort of like owning a dog. When you first get the dog it is a cute little puppy, but over time the canine grows up and you have a big dog to deal with. The same holds true for the caiman. It may be a cute little bugger when it is an infant but when it is all grown up it is going to be a fully fledged honoree carnivore. Unlike a dog however, you can’t bring a caiman to the local Humane Society if you find it becomes too much for you to handle. Also, your full grown dog probably won’t eat you like a full grown caiman could easily do.

It is this unfortunate scenario that has seen many states like Florida start to get overrun with a semi-wild population of Caiman. The owner that loved the little reptile when it was tiny, let it go when it got too big and fierce looking. This is no good as the caiman having already been around humans while growing up will have no natural fear of humans and is more likely to try to interact with humans which can be of great danger. The release of these caiman can also cause an under abundance of food for other species of reptiles like the alligator in Florida which can lead to the alligator becoming more aggressive and interacting with humans due to a lack of food.

Unless you are a zoo keeper, you should really take some time to consider how much has to go into raising a reptile like the caiman. Remember, it will not stay cute and tiny forever and there has never been a caiman yet that has been able to be fully tamed. If you really want to own a reptile, try owning one that won’t grow up to bite the hand that feeds it and that you can actually take care of properly.


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  1. Having a Caiman for a Pet – Consider the Size
  2. Green Iguana Reeks Havoc in South Florida
  3. Feature Video
  4. In the News
  5. Get Paid to write an article
  6. Tell Us What You Think
  7. Feedback and Updating

Other Issues

Other Articles & Resources

Green Iguana Reeks Havoc in South Florida

The green iguana is what is known as a feral iguana, meaning it is the product of what once belonged to someone as a pet. Many careless owners either lost these iguanas or simply let them go into the wild and they in turn bread with other wild iguanas and thus the problem was born. The problem is that the green iguana is not native to the state of Florida and can possibly become an invasive species.

The immediate impact of the green iguanas is not known, but the numbers are estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands and are continuing to grow. Because the species competes for food with other native species, if not controlled the green iguana will almost certainly end up upsetting the balance of the Florida ecosystem.

Many South Floridians are already at their wits end with the big lizards as they are known to eat many decorative plants with the hibiscus plant and orchids being in the favorites of the iguana’s diet. But more than that the iguanas usually produce a pound of feces each day and their feces have been known to carry disease such as salmonella.

As it is still legal to own a pet iguana in the state of Florida, the ramped expansion of the green iguana in South Florida is not likely to stop any time soon. Still there are several ways in which to deal with these menaces.

Snake MitesSome have suggested shooting the iguanas with a Super Soaker squirt gun that is filled with ice water. There is also the ever popular trick of putting sheet metal around your trees bases to discourage the iguanas from climbing them and encouraging them to move on. To protect your plants, experts suggest you cover them in wire mess or cage to keep the pests from messing with them. Of course if all else fails you can always go with the trusty old broom method.

While it is legal to trap the iguanas, you are not allowed to relocate them and so this is a moot point unless you are going to humanly destroy the creature. As this is not a very pleasant thought, it should be noted that there are professional trappers that will come out to your property and do the dirty work for you.

This however may seem a bit unfair to the green iguana as it is not the species fault that people were irresponsible and simply let them go. Unfortunately for the green iguana they will have to pay for the mistakes that humans have made.


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Feature Video

If you have a favourite video, let us know and we'll feature it.

In the News

Sunbaking on a beach

By a Lake

Needing toothpicks

Business getting tougher


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