Exotic Pets

Are Tokay Geckos Tamable?

Can you tame tokay geckos? Tokay geckos are generally considered more difficult to handle than some other species of gecko, such as leopard geckos or crested geckos. They are, however, still a popular pet, in part because of their beautiful and unique coloring.

These lizards tend to be quite active and can try to run and jump when being handled. They’re also known to occasionally bite their handlers. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that taming a tokay is hopeless, despite their defensive behaviors.

Let’s look at a few of these considerations and find out the answer to the question, are tokay geckos tamable?

Handleability of tokays

How handleable are tokay geckos? They are larger than some of the more popular gecko species, and they are quite fast.

Tokay gecko

Their speed and size can make these geckos quite difficult to handle. They’re certainly not best for beginner reptile keepers.

If you’re going to try taking tokay geckos out of their enclosure and handling them, you will need to keep an eye on them. Of course, as with most species, the individuals that have been handled earliest and most often will be better at handling.

Bitey tokays

Any lizard might potentially bite a handler if it gets scared or stressed out. The thing with tokays, though, is that their bite is pretty painful, given that they are a larger gecko. This is something you’ll want to keep in mind if you’re determined to handle your lizards.

Nocturnal geckos

One of the things that can make tokay geckos more difficult to tame than some other species is that they are nocturnal. This means that you’ll have to make an effort to interact with them at night if you want the best results.

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Tips for taming tokays

So what can you do if you are set on tokay geckos, and you want to tame them enough to interact with them? The first step is to tong feed the geckos. When you tong feed, the animals get accustomed to your presence and having a hand near them.

Tokay with mouth open, facing camera

You don’t have to tong feed every insect. Tong feeding is just a supplement to free range crickets or other feeders.

With consecutive tong feedings, you can encourage the lizards to come closer to the edge of the enclosure, where you are. Eventually, you may even be able to get your tokay geckos to eat from your palm or climb onto your arm a bit.

Depending on how your enclosure is set up, you can try luring the geckos out onto a tabletop or to the floor and onto your legs by holding food in tongs just out of their reach. So the answer to whether tokays are tamable is yes, they can be, but it will likely take a bit of work, and they may never be quite as handleable as other gecko species.

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