This is Ernie's story
as I know it. In 2000, A lady I used to work with son was at a friends
house and saw Ernie in their basement. The poor little guy did not
have a light and her skin was very dark. The son brought the iguana
home. The lady was fine with the iguana until her son moved out.
She was a little scared of it and wasn't sure how to take care of it.
They had gotten her a light at least. The lady gave it to another
guy we worked with. He didn't understand that it wasn't as easy to
take care of or "play" with as a dog. He did not want to keep it.
Enter me. My dad has a couple iguana so I knew a little bit.
I went and wrapped her tank in a blanket and brought her home. (It
was November so very cold in Michigan). Here is a picture of her
the first day I had her home.
Notice she is extremely
skinny. They were using a bark substrate and a heat rock. Bad
humans. They were feeding her frozen vegetables and iguana pellets.
Better than iceburg lettuce but still bad. This tank was about 30
gallons. I had an empty 55 gallon tank I moved her to immediately.
I replaced all the lights got rid of the bark and heat rock.
My sister drew me up a blueprint of a new environment that I could build
for her. It sits in a corner and each side is 4 feet and its 6 feet
tall and 5 foot 9 inches across the front. (Think Triangle) There
is 2 feet of plexiglass at the top and doors on the front. The top
is removable for easy light bulb changes. The ceiling is sloped where
it is so its hard to get up there.
The inside is painted
with fake foilage and there are actual fake vines and such to make it appear
prettier. The roses are gone now because as soon as she was big enough
I was afraid she would eat them. I had built in a door at the bottom
that I had planned on using for her door but she is comfortable going in
and out the door I use for cleaning and feeding.