Liz and I acquired another lizard from one of the neighbors around the hill. He found it basking on his patio and surmised it had been living there for several days based on the strange behavior of his cat. Informed by another local resident, he learned a nearby neighbor had a lizard and took the time to locate me to see if perhaps Booger escaped. I knew Booger was in his sunning cage in the back yard, so escape was out of the question. An iguana on the loose in our neighborhood might survive for a week or two. If he doesn’t die from hypothermia at night, the hawks will surely invite him for lunch. Anyway, I went down the hill to rescue the little guy and found him sunning on a plant about fifteen feet above the ground. He made no attempt to flee and I snatched him off the plant, leaves and all. Considerably malnourished, a scuffed up nose, and a deformed hind leg were all I could detect on the initial examination. Surprisingly, he had a full tail and knew just how to use it as a weapon. He’s expected to make a full recovery and I should have him partially tamed within two to three months. The little guy reminds me of Booger when we first rescued him: scared, gaunt, and a fighter. Another similarity is the little refugee is no stranger to food, neither lizard had trouble when the dinner bell rang.
War and Peace:
It is often said that there are two irrefutable constants in the World, death and taxes (one often preferred over the other). I'm here to report a third constant, two male iguanas set loose in the same room is bad news. The dominant male will defend his territory with the utmost vigor and will stop at nothing to engage the interloper in a battle for control. Since Booger is given free reign of the living room, I maintained contact with Buddy to see what would happen when both lizards were together in the same room. I was amazed with Booger's ability to move from the couch to the floor and cover a twenty-five foot span in the blink of an eye. Each time I must transport Buddy through the house, Booger seems to become less and less tolerant of his companion's presence. Given the size difference between the two, it will be some time before I can let the two lizards settle the territorial dispute in a less hostile manner. There are instances, where given ample room and heat sources, two male iguanas are able to tolerate one another and cohabitation is possible.
For the sake of peace and quite in the future, I have returned to the project of designing and building Booger's personal heater, nicknamed "Booger's Toaster". This device will be a state of the art infrared heat source with precision electronic control and will produce a heat pattern suitable for a single full grown iguana. The design of Booger's Toaster allows for expansion of additional heating elements should we adopt a komodo dragon anytime in the future.
We will use our experience gained from raising Booger to rear and tame Buddy. There is no guarantee that Buddy will become as docile as Booger, or that the two iguanas will be able to coexist without feuding over territory or basking rights. Until that day arrives, we will continue to provide both lizards with all the essential necessities found in nature and the company of two caring humans they will learn not to fear.