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Thread: Aggressive Crested Gecko

  1. #1

    Default Aggressive Crested Gecko

    Just last week, I stopped by my coworkers house to pick up the crested gecko she wanted to give up. She had told me that no one really cares for the gecko so it is never really handled.

    When I came over to check the situation out, I saw that the gecko was kept in a long tank instead of a tall one and that there were only 3 places for the gecko to hide (2 small hanging fake plants and a magnetic ledge filled with dirty water and left over shed). She also kept a red heating lamp over the tank which kind of left it feeling dry instead of humid.

    Now at this point, I expected the gecko to feel somewhat stressed out but didn't realize to what extent. I had removed the plants and the magnetic ledge so that I could easily find him and bring him with me. He began to jump around the tank extremely fast and my coworker was screaming as he tried to climb over the top several times. Everytime I reached in to try to get him, he would open up his mouth in preparation to bite me.

    I asked her how long she had had him and she said 3 years. Her brother was supposed to care for him but forgets to feed him as of recent so just leaves crickets in there for the gecko. She tells me that the gecko doesn't care for live food because they nip at him so she would occasionally put some repashy in there for him. I felt really bad so I decided that I still wanted to take him in. We managed to coax him into a reptile carrier and when I got home I set up an exo terra enclosure for him filled with many places to hide, left him a mix of repashy fused with some pangea fruit mix, and misted the tank down.

    He seemed happier and less jittery. He would even let me take a q-tip and rub his head (just because there's some stuck shed above his eye that isnt coming off). I thought I could eventually warm him up to being handled eventually.

    Yesterday when I got home from work, I saw he sat his entire behind in the food dish so I wanted to take him out to clean him and the tank bc of the food residue stuck on thr hanging plants. I made sure to make my presence known and he was fine. But when he realized I wanted him out of the enclosure he ran rapidly everywhere and jumped from vine to vine at a speed that almost made eyes water.

    This saddens me because it makes me realize that I have no method of getting him out to clean the enclosure. In fact, I don't even know if its possible to ever get him out because he's way too fast. I fear he's going to end up jumping off my hand and roaming my room ans getting lost. When I try to feed him some of the crested gecko diet with a chopstick, instead if licking the chopstick he bites it aggressively.

    How can i warm this guy up? Is it too late for him?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007


    I think you are humanizing the situation a bit too much. Think about the geckos experiences and how it would react from a simple perspective. Consider natural flight or fight responses and the need to feel secure. The cage isolation with no handling experience appears to be a big factor. Once it has a stable good diet that is consistent... that stress will be lifted. When it acclimates to an adequate enclosure with hides... the stress of not having basic needs will be lifted. When performing routine maintenace make it a point to reach in and around your gecko in a calm manner. This will help it see you as a non threat. Don't grasp or squeeze it if you have to catch or pick it up. A smooth deliberate reach sliding your fingers under it's belly to pick it up is the best method. Keep these things consistent, so that the gecko becomes accustomed to recognizable non threatening actions. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012


    ^Big Tom has good advice. You could also put a toilet paper roll or half a paper towel roll in there and remove the gecko once it's inside.
    3.4.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    East-central Wisconsin


    And since he just been put onto a "whole new planet", it will probably take several weeks until he is really comfortable in his new surroundings.

    I wouldn't try to feed him with a chopstick. Just let him discover and eat the CGD on his own; it might take a couple of weeks til he's eating regularly, but he'll eat more when he feels secure.

    See if you can just spot-clean the cage for now. And do as Big Tom says and just move your hand slowly near him while you're spot-cleaning. In time, he'll probably come around. But right now, he's coming off of not being cared for well, and is not sure about all the new good things in his environment.

    Thanks for taking him. He probably would not have survived very much longer if you hadn't.
    TAD (Tiny Ancient Dinosaur) - Yellow flame dash pinstripe crestie 1.0.0
    Hygge - Brown reticulated gargoyle 0.0.1
    TBD (Tiny Badass Dragon) - E. agricolae 1.0.0
    Rody Jane - Cattledog/stinkwad mix 0.1.0, Dixie Moonpie - Rattledog 0.1.0, Ancient barn cats - 3.0.0

  5. #5


    Thanka everybody! That's great advice! I appreciate it 😊

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