by Carie Stafford

download_20151114_114630My name is Tigger, and I am a four-year-old crested gecko.  My scientific name comes from the fringed crest that runs over my eyes and down my neck and back.  I am also known as the “eyelash” gecko, because the hair-like projections above my eyes look like eyelashes. I don’t actually have eyelids; I use my tongue to keep my eyes moist.

I am originally a native of the southern New Caledonia rainforest and my species was almost extinct. In 1994, there was a tropical storm and one of my kind was washed ashore; since then, we are no longer on the extinct list. We are a common household pet. Our life span is unknown, since we were extinct at one point. We currently have a few crested geckos that are about fifteen to twenty years old in captivity.

I love to climb, jump, and be in high places. People think I have suction cups on my feet; they are actually little seta hairs that give me griping action when climbing. I have tiny claws that assist with climbing, and I can also use my tail for climbing and holding. If I am in danger or feel threatened, I can lose my tail; it does not grow back. I can come in a variety of color groups, including grey, brown, red, orange and yellow, with markings of spots, stripes, and tiger-like stripes. I can grow to about seven to nine inches long.

There is more to learn of my species, but let me fill you in about me particularly. My mom adopted me with a mate, Cupcake, and we had three babies: Pooh, Piglet, and Eyore. My mom loves Disney, that is how we got our names. I lost the tip of my tail, because Cupcake thought it was a cricket—crazy woman!  Females and young are more susceptible to calcium depletion that can lead to Metabolic Bone Disease, which is fatal to us; that is how I lost my family a year and a half ago. It was sad and my mom was heartbroken.

My mom is awesome! She plays with me and I adore her. I love to climb up her long hair and sit on top of her head. She lets me climb inside her shirt sleeves, and I love to curl up in her pockets. She is very diligent with my care. I live in a twenty-gallon terrarium. I thrive in a tropical environment, so my mom ensures I have a heat lamp for the day and a red night light at night, and plenty of water. I have things to climb on and love to hang off the side of my tank. Did I tell you I was nocturnal. I eat crickets and my mom mixes a special calcium/vitamin mix in my favorite baby food: banana and mango. Well, daylight is here, and I have had a busy night. It is my bedtime. Goodnight.



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