The Black-Throat Monitor is from the Family Varanidae. They are famously known for modern-day dinosaurs with their scaled bodies and sharp eyes. Although they are very beefy and giant lizards, they are pretty mild-mannered.
They live wild in Eastern, Central, and Southern Africa, and they roam freely in the forests of Tanzania.
Black Throat Monitor Enclosure Requirements
When it comes to housing to Monitors, you have to buckle up. Monitors require spacious, sturdy cages. A black-throated monitor always requires a large and robust enclosure.
Enclosure/Terrarium Size of Black Throat Monitor
With adult lengths of 6.5 to 7 feet, you must ensure that your Monitor has plenty of space for his free movements. For juveniles, an enclosure of at least 20-22 gallons is necessary. Simultaneously, adult Black Throat Monitors require a specially made terrarium minimum of 6 feet in length and 4ft in width, and 4ft in height, i.e., Its dimension is (6 ft x 4 ft x 4 ft). A secure locking upper lid is essential, as Monitors are very fast leapers and climbers. Adult Monitors can quickly clear three-foot-tall barriers without any hurdle. So, plan a little larger if your Monitor grows on the longer side or your Monitor is very agile and naughty.
Most owners prefer building a permanent enclosure for their black throats out of plexiglass or wood.
Tip: The terrarium must be large enough for your Black Throat Monitor to turn around, walk forward a few steps, and generally stretch out.
DON’T: Treat Black Throat Monitors like a regular pet.
Pet parents of domesticated animals like dogs and cats often refer to their pets as “fur babies” and treat them like family members. Black Throat Monitor keepers know that they are not softhearted and are nothing like dogs and cats. Please do not treat them like dogs that you can call with name or pet at your whim.
Treat it like the monitor lizard that it is—a giant lizard that can deliver a powerful bite, scratch, or tail-whip you if not handled properly.
Most reptile experts agree that “A black throat Monitor is a monitor for the more severe and advanced hobbyist only.” Ordinary keepers may soon fed up with them, and they may end up in reptile rescue shelters.
They can be defensive when sleeping, but who wants to be disturbed while sleeping, anyway? Also, their feeding response is quite strong, so make sure to use tongs when feeding them to avoid the risk of injury.
Handling of Black Monitors in Enclosures
Confidence is critical when handling monitors but be careful not to be too rough. They are large and powerful, capable of giving a nasty bite, whipping with their tail, or causing deep cuts from their large claws. It would help if you handled them with precaution at the start and do not let them out from their enclosure unless they are familiar with you. If they still hiss at you, do not enter your arm/hand in the enclosure for your protection.
If handled daily with care, they will be calm and easygoing with their owners. Many monitor keepers can fix a harness to their lizard and take them for a walk after getting familiar with them.
Black-Throated Monitor Behavior and Temperament in captivity
Most monitors recognized their owners and feel safe around them. So their behavior and temperament are very relaxed and charming. When you create a strong bond between you and your Black Throat Monitor, you love the joy of having mini pet Godzilla which is voracious and huge.
If not handled regularly by their keepers/owners, they may become aggressive. When they feel stressed or threatened, these large reptiles will puff up their bodies and hiss in anger; they have even bite if you disturb them frequently. Given the Monitor’s size, a bite from one can do some severe damage.
If you see your Black Throat Monitor is starting to puff up, turn back immediately, and leave this ferocious creature alone until it shows any calming signs.
Stress is awful for reptiles, leading to suppressing their immune system and a host of significant health issues. As with all Black Monitors, exercise is a good stress reliever.
In summer or warm weather, these Monitors can be walked outside just like dogs (but walk a bit slower) using a leash and harness. This is great for your Monitor in many ways; UVB rays, socialization, and exercise are good for its overall health.
Behavior and temperament in the wild:
Black-throated monitors are semi-arboreal, meaning that naturally, they live mostly in the wild trees, especially when they are young, i.e., juveniles. Adults don’t climb trees most often, but they can still climb up a branch whenever they feel any predator’s danger. They may also forage in a tree for any source of food.
Black Throat Monitor Price and Availability
These Monitors are not easy to come across and will put a big dent in your wallet. A Black Throat’s average cost is £280/$377 depending on the country/region and the lizard’s age and sex.
Black-Throated monitors are a fierce commitment, capable of living up to 15-20 years if kept in the right conditions and fed a varied diet.
Choosing Your Black-Throated Monitor
These are large, robust reptiles that can be challenging pets for this reason. Be sure you have the resources available to house and feed such a big Monitor. It’s also essential to check the local laws regarding owning any exotic species where you live.
As with most exotic pets, it’s best to obtain them from a reputable breeder who will tell you their health history and provide you their pedigree tree. Smooth skin, clear eyes, and general alertness are all signs of a healthy Black Throat Monitor lizard. If it appears lethargic or doesn’t take food readily when offered, it may be sick.
Do your research before committing to a Black-Throated monitor. They are capable of living for 20+ years and should not be purchased on a whim.
Provided you can offer a sizable enclosure and plenty of enrichment and attention for black throat monitor care. A monitor is an excellent pet for an experienced reptile keeper. It will quickly become part of the family.