A clutch of blue-tongue lizards is currently under the care of local Childers woman Jeanette O'Shea, who has spent the summer raising the four “adorable baby blueys”.
The animal lover said her two pet blue-tongue lizards Teddy and Speedy were the proud parents of the four babies, welcoming the new additions just before Christmas.
“Blue-tongues give live birth and gestation is about 100 days,” Jeanette said.
“While I won’t be able to keep the babies as the enclosure I have for them is a good size for two adults, I will be looking for good homes for them soon.
“Someone who is willing to create a beautiful outdoor habitat like the one they were born into.”
Jeanette said the four babies were now a couple of months old and growing fast.
“They grow really quickly and eat heaps,” she said.
“However, they are still much smaller than my two adults, which are both about a foot and a half long from nose to tip of tail.”
Teddy and Speedy a quirky pair of blue-tongue lizards
Jeanette said she had always loved blue-tongue lizards and Teddy and Speedy were full of personality and quirk.
“One is a little cuddly, the other is a bit of a bully and rushes around stealing the other’s food,” she said.
“They come across as a bit grouchy. If you disturb them when they are sunning they will huff at you and scurry back to their cave in a bit of a mood.
“If I stroke them on the top of the head they will relax and I can walk around with one draped on my shoulder.”
Jeanette said she had a lifelong interest in herpetology (the study of reptiles and amphibians) which began after an introduction to lizards by her grandfather.
“As a child I had always loved creepy crawlies like lizards and spiders,” she said.
“I have a strong memory from when I was about 10 years old of my very aged grandfather shuffling up the path to our home holding a plastic takeaway container.
“He handed it to me and I was delighted to find in it a tiny baby blue-tongue lizard which my grandfather had rescued from a cat.”
Jeanette said her father built a large enclosure for her to keep “Bluey” in and from then on she rushed home from school each day to feed her pet and take it for a walk.
About 15 years ago, upon hearing the story about her grandfather, Jeanette said her own daughter went to a registered breeder and got a pair of baby blueys for her birthday.
“I had to get a permit to keep them, so now I hold a recreational wildlife licence,” she said.
While blue tongue lizards might seem like an unusual pet to some, Jeanette said she was one of many in her family with a passion for interesting animals.
“Weird and wonderful creatures have long been a feature in my family,” she said.
“My daughter has kept carpet snakes, which made life interesting when I would go to the freezer and find a bag of rats waiting to be thawed for feed time.
“You can bet we got a second freezer!”
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