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My crestie keeps escaping his tank- please help?!

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  • #16
    Trying to grab him is probably scaring him - it's like a big giant predator coming after him. Try baby steps in getting him used to you. (Hand in tank for a few seconds, working up to a longer time, hand near him for a few seconds, working up to a longer time, hand in front of him to see if he will walk on it for a few seconds, etc.) It takes time, but if you are patient, he may come around. Some geckos just do not like being held, and will end up being more of a display animal, and for me, that is OK.
    Eileen
    TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
    Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

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    • #17
      But if I try to put my hand in I’m afraid he’s just going to jump for the opening and escape again.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by TAD View Post
        Trying to grab him is probably scaring him - it's like a big giant predator coming after him. Try baby steps in getting him used to you. (Hand in tank for a few seconds, working up to a longer time, hand near him for a few seconds, working up to a longer time, hand in front of him to see if he will walk on it for a few seconds, etc.) It takes time, but if you are patient, he may come around. Some geckos just do not like being held, and will end up being more of a display animal, and for me, that is OK.
        I want to try the hand in tank but when the lid is open he will jump for the opening so it’s been hard being able to put in food without him trying to escape and stuff.

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        • #19
          Does he have enough hides and foliage now? Wondering if he feels secure in the tank.
          Eileen
          TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
          Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

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          • #20
            Originally posted by TAD View Post
            Does he have enough hides and foliage now? Wondering if he feels secure in the tank.
            That’s what I was thinking as well because reptiles are pretty new to me so my tank isn’t as set up as well as others like youtubers I’ve seen lol but I do have these set of leaves he likes to climb into and a couple of other places to hide. But thanks for helping me out I appreciate it.

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            • #21
              Usually, the more crowded your tank is with hiding places, the better they like it. Lots of foliage, lots of hides - yeah, they're a little harder to find that way, but it makes for an interesting tank, and a happier gecko.
              Eileen
              TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
              Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

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              • #22
                A lot of these responses are great! The mesh tent is great- I got one to culture waxworms and BFS, but never did it. I bought what’s called a “butterfly cage.” It’s basically a mesh laundry hamper w zipper (and a clear, plastic viewing side). They come in a bunch of sizes. I got a fairly large one and it’s nice to put my little one in there if I clean her tank. My older cresties have bioactive tanks so almost no cleaning needs to be done! Just wipe down surfaces where they’ve defecated/soiled w CGD. But the butterfly cage is basically like putting your hamster in a ball, supervised outside time.

                Another trick I learned from a breeder is if you put your hand directly in front of them, blocking their path, then they usually stop. My youngest crestie is a super spaz, and if I can get my hand in front of her face quick enough, then she usually stops for a moment so I can pick her up. As they get older and if they’re handled regularly, they get less spazzy. She now only freaks out if she can smell another crestie’s scent on me.

                Front-opening tanks are better than top-opening ones since coming from above instinctually causes their flight response to kick in (you’re a big predator to them).

                And as another user suggested, move slowly and try to do any housekeeping during the day when they’re asleep. It spooks them less.

                If they’re small, you’re bound to lose them at least once as they are escape artists and super curious. Just make sure whatever room you keep them in is devoid of free-ranging animals, like cats and dogs, that can attack/scare your gecko. I think every gecko owner has lost a gecko or two, and usually finds them. Even if you have an escape-proof tank, if you’re cleaning at night and you didn’t place your gecko in a separate tank, your gecko will find a chance to escape, esp if you’re distracted. This has happened to me many times. A few times I didn’t even realize they weren’t in their tank!

                I’ve found my cresties to be super curious and love coming out to explore, no matter how big their tank. I guess the grass is always greener?

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