My beautiful Zorro

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I've been keeping iguanas since November '94. My little girl died age 15, and I believe it was of broken heart. A long story. I plan to write a memoir about her. She was the most wonderful, gentle, friendly and cuddly iguana on the planet. Everyone who met her quickly warmed to her. And although I love my big boy Zorro just as much, I still miss her beautiful soul and wish she's still be here.

Zorro 2008
Because I can't think about a life without a dragon around me, I searched for a rescue. Zorro came to me in August 2008, at the age of three when a couple, who couldn't look after him anymore, tried to find a good home for him. And that's when our love/hate relationship started: I love him, he hates me. Simple as that. He was fine for a year, absolutely tame and friendly but, according to the guy he lived with beforehand, he was already showing signs of aggressions towards him. So, I got a wonderful year with him before he became aggressive over night and jumped at me, trying to bite. Years later, I've got numerous scars, went to A&E twice, and need to be careful when handling him in general. He's 150cm and 6.5kg. One wrong move, or one second of not paying attention, and I could end up being bitten severely. An iguana of his size is easily able to take off a finger, or a huge chunk of flesh. And it does hurt, believe you me.
Zorro 2012
Iguanas aren't necessarily difficult to look after when it comes to food or care. They need to be fed at least once a day, I feed Zorro twice, mornings and late afternoons. The main thing is to vary. He loves his spring greens, rocket, watercress, butternut squash (grated), carrots, coriander, chervil, common cress, pak choi, mustard greens, broccoli leaves, whatever is in season and easy to get. I don't feed him lettuce--at all--as it hasn't got any nutritious value for iguanas. It's important to not overfeed spinach as it doesn't have a good calcium-phosphorous ratio. Too much will be toxic for an iguana.  
He gets fruity treats like blueberries, grapes, apple and clementines; he loves them. In the summer, I'll share cherries (without stones) with him. You should see him going for those, it's hilarious. And he always ends up looking messy.
I never feed him animal protein. Iguanas cannot digest it and will very likely develop illnesses like kidney failure. They are vegetarians exclusively. Talking of digesting: iguanas defecate every day at least once, often even twice. In nature they'll do that from the heights of a tree into water, in a vivarium, they'll mostly do it from a height. They can be trained, but it takes time and patience, and you'd need to watch them closely in order to pick them up and put them in the place dedicated for them. They are extremely intelligent animals who are able to think complex; if you don't believe me, give them a challenge and watch them trouble shooting. It's rather interesting. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to teach Zorro to clean up after himself; that job's still my duty and it's messy, but should be done daily. If possible as soon as he does his business as the urine's acid will eat away on things, plus it starts to reek.
Iguanas need UV light and heat to digest their food and get all the nutrients, so they should have at least one source of UV, which can be a basking spot on a timer (depending on strength) or a tube going all day. Since they grow big, they need a big space which is expensive to heat. I have a 240 Watt tubular heater, a 150W heat emitter and a heat mat for him. Personally, I find that the tubular heater does a good job on background heating, but doesn't heat as well as the 250W heat emitter did. I've just switched to the tubular heater to test the efficiency and save costs. Anyway, here are some more pictures of him.

Yes, he's got two toes missing. They had to be amputated as he injured himself

Big iguana relaxing 2014

Iguana on a short trip outside his home while I'm cleaning

Me and him, so you have an idea how BIG he actually is

Cheeky Zorro

My screen saver, because it's just a great shot

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