Leopard geckos can be ‘just as loveable’

2015-05-20 06:00
: 
Leopard geckos are just as loveable as kittens. This one is content to explore the outside world on the forearm of owner Mark Drinkel.

photo: 
theo jeptha

: Leopard geckos are just as loveable as kittens. This one is content to explore the outside world on the forearm of owner Mark Drinkel. photo: theo jeptha

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THEY are cold-blooded and probably not as pretty as your average pet, but, believe it or not, they can be just as loveable!

This is how Ross Mardon describes the leopard geckos that she and her friend, Mark Drinkel, started “farming” with some two years ago.

The leopard geckos that hail from Afghanistan can set you back as much as R15 000, said Mardon, adding that they currently have about 200 of these unique pets.

“We wanted to begin some kind of hobby and we decided to go for the leopard geckos because of their uniqueness. There are only two breeders in Nelson Mandela Bay and we are hoping that more people turn to this hobby,” Mardon said, adding that it costs about R1 000 to feed the 200 geckos.

“We breed our own meal worms, but their diet also includes insects such as roaches, crickets and flies as well. They are nocturnal reptiles with the result that they must be fed during the night.

She said the leopard geckos are “really loveable.

“They grow very fond of their owners and they like walking on you and sitting on your shoulder. I have found that when you scratch them on the back of the head their eyes soon close and they fall asleep. They also change colour on a regular basis.”

According to Mariette Pressly, curator of reptiles at Bayworld these reptiles normally weigh around 105g and their average length is about 10cm.

“They differ from other geckos in that they don’t have the air pockets under their feet that allow them to climb up walls and windows, but have toenails,” she said

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