We have had Mango for about three years, however I have known her for much longer.
I have kept Bearded Dragons for a while now and have had several over the years. As I tend to go for the unwanted ones rather than babies, I don’t always have them a long time but I do my best to ensure they receive the best care possible.
I used to run a pet sitting business and as well as caring for popular pets like dogs, cats and rabbits my love of exotic species allowed me to branch out to other animals that most pet sitting places wouldn’t be able to accommodate. Although I didn’t have the space to board lizards in my home, I did offer home visits and travelled to the owners home to care for them which allowed me to branch out.
Mango’s previous was actually one of my first ever clients and they had her, another Bearded Dragon and a Leopard Gecko (who now also lives with me). Sadly, her previous owner had to move and was unable to take her and the Leopard Gecko with them and asked me if I knew anywhere that could help. At the time I had recently lost my last Bearded Dragon, Jaffa and although I wasn’t looking for another lizard, I felt a bond to Mango as I had known her for so long and offered her a home here.
The previous owner gave me a few of her hides that she had at their house and I put them in my vivarium to help her settle. She felt pretty comfortable almost straight away and began exploring her surroundings and even started eating not too long after arriving. She was a little thin when arrived, but due to a good, varied diet, she is now a healthy weight.
Mango has an underdeveloped eye that is much smaller than her good eye. Although it doesn’t cause her any pain, it does mean she isn’t very good at hunting so needs to be tong fed for her live food, or eat from a bowl. I don’t mind – sure it takes longer, but it’s a nice way to bond with her. Her favourite foods are Morio worms, locust, wax worms, rocket and dandelions.
Every so often, I give Mango a warm bath so she can hydrate herself and she usually has a poop in the bath – gross right?! It also helps her when she is shedding and although you should never pull the shedding skin off, a bath can help soften the skin and make it a bit easier for her.
We love Mango and sometimes call her ‘birdy’ and she tilts her head like a bird to get a really good look at something. She has a huge personality and although she is getting on a bit with age and spends more time sleeping these days, we hope to have her for a long time yet.