The Savannah Monitor is one of the most popular mid-sized reptiles kept as pets today. They are a hardy species requiring relatively simple habitat, feeding and care requirements. Savannah Monitors will become tame with regular handling and have a lifespan of 10+ years when kept in the proper environment. Babies are 6” to 10” and will reach adult size of about 2.5’ to 3’.
Savannah Monitors require a large secure enclosure which includes enough space to freely turn, move around, climb and perch. Young monitors can start in a 36”L x 24”W x 20”H, but will soon need to be moved to a larger enclosure – about double the size – 6’L x 5’W x 4’H. The enclosure should provide plenty of stout limbs for climbing. Savannah Monitors should be housed individually.
Savannah Monitors need substrate deep enough for digging and excavating, packed tightly for maximum firmness. Zoo Med Excavator Clay Burrowing Substrate is a perfect choice.
Savannah Monitors require a thermal gradient of 78° to 88° Fahrenheit for daytime; 72° to 80° F for nighttime and a basking area up to 110° F. Big Apple's Black Heat Infrared Ceramic Heat Emitters and incandescent lights, such as the Zoo Med Basking Spot Bulbs are ideal for this purpose. We recommend controlling the ceramic emitter with a thermostat, such as the BAH-500 or BAH-1000DC, and monitoring the temperatures with a thermometer to keep track of your warm and cool sides.
Daylight should be provided 10-12 hours per day for optimal health of your Savannah Monitor. Provided the diet is rich in vitamin D3 and calcium, UV light is not required, however it is common to use SunForce Mercury Vapor bulbs to produce the necessary heat and light for monitors. Make sure your Savannah Monitor is at least 8” to 12” from heating and lighting bulbs.
Provide a variety of hides where your Savannah Monitor can conceal his body and turn around freely while inside.
Savannah Monitors will shed every 4 to 6 weeks in patches (not one whole piece). They will often immerse their entire body in water to facilitate shedding. To aid in shedding, you can provide a shed box: a hide box with moistened Big Apple's Imported Premium Grade Sphagnum Moss.
Provide a large, heavy bowl of fresh water daily. The bowl should be large enough for your Savannah Monitor to fully soak its entire body. The water dish should be placed on the cooler side of the enclosure.
Savannah Monitors are strictly carnivorous. A variety of crickets, mealworms, waxworms and other insects should be provided daily. Adult monitors may also eat frozen/thawed pinkie mice. Ready-to-Use foods such as Zoo Menu Tegu & Monitor Food, are also popular and readily available. Never leave uneaten food in your monitor’s enclosure.
A calcium/Vitamin D supplement, such as Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3 or Rep-Cal Calcium, should be sprinkled on insects daily. Rodents and commercially made foods do not have to be dusted with supplements. A multi-vitamin supplement, such as Herptivite, should be provided once or twice a week.
Remove uneaten foods and soiled substrate daily. Provide clean drinking water daily. Thoroughly clean the habitat and cage furnishings weekly with Quat TB Pet Area Cleaner, Deodorizer & Stain Remover or a mild detergent.