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Go Back   FaunaClassifieds > Reptile & Amphibian - Lizard Discussion Forums > Iguanas & Monitors Discussion Forum


View Poll Results: What monitor makes the best pet?
Nile monitor 12 19.35%
Savannah monitor 50 80.65%
Voters: 62. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-20-2008, 10:56 AM   #1
Nile monitor vs Savannah monitor

So.. We're thinking of getting a monitor.. But can't decide what kind of monitor that would make the best pet. We now have three iguanas and a leopard gecko, so we are no strangers to reptiles.

We are looking for a monitor to tame to the degree that we can sit down with it and spend time without the animal beeing afraid of us.

Wich of those two types of monitors are the easiest to tame?
What kind of behaviour can we expect from each of them?
Are they very agressive?

And what is really he difference between the two monitors?

Hopefully some of you people are gona be able to give me a quick respond.
Old 08-20-2008, 02:39 PM   #2
Joe Jo
Well the best choice for a pet and i believe any one will agree with me, is clearly the Savanah. Niles are really cool but def. for the more experienced. Savs will reach 3.5-5 feet normaly and are much more tameable then Niles. Niles reach somewhere around 6 feet and are a handfull if your trying to tame an animal that is normally a paranoid skiddish monitor. Both are great for reptile lovers but the easier choice is clearly the Sav. Regardless of what you get be sure to read up on both and be sure your 100% willing to do what ever your monitor will need.
Old 08-20-2008, 03:44 PM   #3
It depends on what you're willing to do and what you can provide.

Since you have experience with iguanas i'm not going to ask the obvious (do you know how big it's gonna get/what it's gonna eat/ect)
Here is what I have discovered in my 2yr experience of raising each.

My niles tend to be more active and want to explore whenever they aren't basking or cooling down.

My savannah is more of a "chill" type lizard as is pretty content just hanging around most of the time.

The niles are more unpredictable and are easily excitable/startled where again the savannah is more predictable and harder to startle.

The niles are far more aggressive and "cocky" where the Savannah is more of a defender playing defense more then offense when approached.

Basically everything says the same thing.
The Savannahs are more calm and simple mannered monitors, where the Niles are more "hardcore" beastly mannered monitors.

I have (and still do) taken bites and tail lashes from the Niles whenever they feel uncomfortable or vulnerable and this is expected. Best thing to do is not to put them in that situation. Not so much the Savannah.

Both lizards are a little spastic when babies and slow down with age.
Bottom line is that Niles require more training to be tame because they are fierce natured lizards. If you are willing to put the time and energy into taming a Nile they can become wonderful pets but you always have to remember they have that temperament and require more respect and caution when it comes to handling. I think the naughtiest lizards I have ever handled are baby niles. But that doesn't stop someone who is determined to have a tame pet nile monitor, and with a little work and a lot of handling you too can have a pet dinosaur eating from a spoon.

both of the older guys are very tame and can be carried around like a teddy bear without fear of getting bit. I even take them to music festivals and they don't mind being held or pet by strangers as long as they aren't being hurt or handled aggressively. They just have to trust you and be used to being handled.

hope this helps!
Don't hesitate to ask questions!
Old 08-20-2008, 09:18 PM   #4
My own experience with savannahs has been very positive - while I have heard/read that they are really not that suitable as pets. I disagree. I have no experience with the niles personally - but have read a lot more negative info about their dispositions. I found the defensive trait to be true of the savannahs but they calm readily.
Old 08-22-2008, 08:36 AM   #5
John E Dove
I've only had a few of each ass bad mannered ill treated rescues that the owners really had no idea what they were doing when they got them.
Personally I have no love of either species but I have found the Nile to be much harder to deal with than the Savs.
I suppose if you want a giant lizard and 100% KNOW that you will be giving it the time and attention needed to tame it either might be good but if you are not 100% sure that you can work with it every day and provide them all the room they need in a proper enclosure.............
Old 08-22-2008, 11:26 AM   #6
Well thanks everybody for the replies! I appreciate it and MicroZooKits, i love your pictures.

We are still considering if we want to take on the responsibility of having a Monitor.
I love all kinds of lizards, and especially the large ones. They liven up the living room more than those little ones does.

We are aware that they need a big enclosure and we can assure you that the Iguanas we allready have are beeing treated good, and they have very large cages. I'll show you guys a picture of it here to.

So we'll be deciding if we are gona go through with this during the next few days now, and we will let you people know what happens. By the way, we have found a Monitor allready. It is about 1 1/2 feet long now and the owner wants around 100 dollar for it included shipping. So... I don't know.. Is it to expensive?

Old 08-22-2008, 03:27 PM   #7
Originally Posted by Kjetil_m
We are aware that they need a big enclosure and we can assure you that the Iguanas we allready have are beeing treated good, and they have very large cages. I'll show you guys a picture of it here to.
Just wondering... have you checked out pro-exotics for their enclosure/substrate suggestions?

Originally Posted by Kjetil_m
By the way, we have found a Monitor allready. It is about 1 1/2 feet long now and the owner wants around 100 dollar for it included shipping. So... I don't know.. Is it to expensive?
Doesn't sound too bad - typically a little bigger should be "well started" and cost a little more..

I would want to start with babies for as tame as possible - unless, of course this guy's already tamed down YMMV with the individual though?
Old 08-22-2008, 03:50 PM   #8
nice viv BTW
Old 08-24-2008, 03:44 PM   #9
Originally Posted by Kjetil_m
we have found a Monitor allready. It is about 1 1/2 feet long now and the owner wants around 100 dollar for it included shipping. So... I don't know.. Is it to expensive?
I would recommend getting a hatchling if it's your first monitor so you can learn the "monitor personality" and behaviors/routines, ect. all the way through from the beginning. Yes it's hard to wait for them to get big enough to hang out on the couch with you, but with the proper care and nutrition they get big fast.
It's also helps them bond better thus making your monitor extra friendly and social. Babies of each species go for around $30-$40 depending where you get them. We feed ours everything from live to frozen prey, insects, and even steak and chicken. When they get bigger and require more food, the best route is to feed them beef hearts, chicken necks, and whole prey. Monitors love chasing and hunting live prey but it can get a bit on the expensive side when they require 3-4 rats a week. Chicken necks and beef hearts dusted with reptile vitamins and reptile calcium are really inexpensive for a weekly diet and a live feeder every weekend keeps them happy. We also feed superworms and roaches as treats when training and so fourth.
Old 08-26-2008, 05:42 PM   #10
Digby Rigby

Keeping reptiles is merely practice for being kept by monitors. 100% of all people who inquire about Savannah or nile monitors do so because either thats all they are aware of or because they are cheap. For the most part the cost of a monitor is immaterial compared to the time and caging required for them to thrive. Instead of a nile you would be better served with a water monitor Varanus salvator or a black throat or white throat monitor instead of a Savannah. We have had monitos for over 25 years green tree monitors they have bred also. Leashes are not good for monitors. If you want something that will be an excellent TV watching buddy go with Argentine red tegus or Argentine Black and white tegus. I know one red tegu that once it was 2 feet long NEVER spent another day in a cage! . If I can be of further service please let me know

Digby Rigby
The leaders in bulk Blaptica dubia sales for 5 years now!

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