Scientific Name: Varanus exanthematicus
Native Habitat: Sub-Saharan Africa
Lifespan: 10-15 years, they live longer if captive bred and not wild caught.
Size: up to 4'
Temperament: Can be very aggressive and territorial, but with proper and consistent handling they can be social and handleable.
Ease of handling: Handling must be done cautiously, they are capable of delivering strong bites. They need frequent interactions to maintain a "tame" demeanour.
Skill level: Expert
Activity level: Diurnal, quite active.
Savannah monitors require very large enclosures, at minimum 8x4x2'. They are quite strong and can jump a surprisingly height so ensure their enclosure is well-secured.
Temperature: A basking spot of 43-50°C, and an ambient temperature between 31-35°C.
Lighting: UVB must be provided for 10-12 hours per day.
Humidity: 60-90%, the higher end reserved for shedding animals.
Substrate: Bioactive soil, coconut husk, coconut fiber, organic topsoil, and play sand. They enjoy digging so provide several inches of substrate.
As with most monitors, Savannah monitors appear to be quite intelligent and get bored easily. A bored animal may rub its face against its enclosure and attempt to escape repeatedly. Stimulate them with hiding food throughout their enclosure, changing up the scenery and layout of their enclosure, and providing substrate deep enough to dig and burrow.
Savannah monitors can eat small rodents and gut-loaded insects. They can also be fed high quality, low-fat, grain-free canned dog food as a treat, sparingly.
A foster-based rescue in Southern Ontario