Journal of "Tashmoo", a Cyclura nubila lewisi x caymanensis

May 23, 2001 - I received Tashmoo from David Blair via the USPS. She came packaged very nicely. She came with paperwork that stated she hatched on Sept. 11, 2000 and also came with the egg she hatched out of! I was at work so for the rest of the day she resided in a Post Office mail bucket thingy. I Wish I had my camera as it was very cute. She actually ate some food after being in there for about an hour. This was only a small hint of how great her appetite really was! When I got her home we got a weght on her (3.0 oz) and she appeared to be approximately 13 inches long. It was hard to tell as she didn't want to be measured.

May 25, 2001 - We took Tashmoo to Martha's Vineyard with us for Memorial Day weekend. She did wonderfully in the car, sitting on my leg or my arm the entire time. She was a little jumpy but nothing like a similarly sized Green Iguana. She also handled overhead movement way better than my Bearded Dragons. As tame as the Dragons are they do not like going under bridges nor do they like the big light posts on the side of road. Anyhow, we kept her in a 10 gallon tank on The Vineyard with all the heat and UV. She also got to go out on the deck a lot in the sun. We had gotten her a little vest like leash on The Cape on the way over. It worked out pretty well except she would try and scrape it off occasionally. The weekend went well and she remained quite calm.

May 28, 2001 - I took her out of the BIG cage we had constructed as she was insane in there. The trauma of trying to catch her was not good for her or me! I put her in a 20 gallon tank in our living room so that she would be easier to catch and could get to see everyone including the cats and dogs that we have. She doesn't seem to mind the cats or the dogs too much but she doesn't want them too close to the cage.

May 30, 2001 - She CLEANED her plate. I think she must have licked it clean. There was nothing left when I came home so I gave her some more greens. She ate even more of them. I couldn't believe how much she packed in there. She was like a little balloon.

June 2-3, 2001 - I worked with her a lot over the weekend. Took her out on her new leash. The new leash just cinches up around her waist. This is a much better arrangement. She hardly knows it is there and doesn't try and scrape it off. It is easier to get her out of the cage now. Pooped her in the tub several times. What with all she is eating I have to poop her twice a day and she STILL poops on me or on the floor when she comes out. She has learned already that she can hold it til she is out of the cage.

June 5, 2001 - Every day I keep giving her more and more food. She continues to eat it all. I think she is a bottomless pit. I give her so many greens that she can't possibly finish them. Then I get home and they are all gone. She definitely prefers the greens. She picks at the orangy veggies but if anything is left over it is orange. So far there have been no leftover greens.

June 6, 2001 - She continues to eat and eat and poop at least 2x per day. Now she sees me coming and knows it is time to poop. Once she pooped on the rock while I was looking at her. Tonight I came home and immediately went to her cage, got her out and went to the tub. She started to poop while the water was running! She is definitely attempting to potty train as it is obvious she doesn't want to poop in the cage. I got better measurements off her today. She is exactly 13.5" long and weighs 3.8 oz. This was after eating all day and after pooping too. We shall use this length to go by as I am unsure if the first measurements were accurate. She has definitely gained weight though! She is also thinking about starting to shed. The area around her spines is shed already and her colors are brighter there.

June 7. 2001 - She is eating a bit less. I think it might be because she is about to shed. Ate very little today.

June 9 & 10, 2001 - She is shedding now. I got her out for some real uv on Sat. I was mistaken before and her spikes did not shed on June 6. They started to shed on Sat. June 9 after we were outdoors for awhile. On Sunday I moved her to a 30 gallon tank up over the old 20 gallon. I relocated the juvenile bearded dragon to the 20 gallon. So now Tashmoo is off the floor and probably has to worry about the cats less. She is eating better as of Sunday the 10th. Perhaps she only cuts down on the food at the beginning of the shed.

June 12, 2001 - Gaping and thrashing when trying to take her out of the tank. Poops immediately upon getting out of the cage. Eating much better but still shedding. Only back has shed so far. Basking a lot. Not happy with the cats and dogs at all.

June 14, 2001 - still shedding, poops in the cage more now. Eating tons and getting bigger. 14.25 inches long overall. Still about 5" svl.

June 17, 2001 - Still shedding! Eating well and pooping a lot. 3 times a day sometimes. Definitely filling out.

June 21, 2000 - Getting a bit more evil every day. Gaping, hissing and trying to bite whenever we go near her. She is still fine once she gets out of the cage but it is a trauma to get her out of there. I hope this passes. We take her out at least 2x a day during the week for at least 15-20 minutes at a time. On the weekends we take her out a lot more.

July 4, 2001 - Happy Independence Day all you fellow Americans out there! Tashmoo is more evil than ever. I understand she is just scared but it is daunting for sure. She is EVIL in the cage, gaping, hissing, whipping worse than ever before. I perservere and keep taking her out where she is ok, but more and more she is trying to get away. Seems panic stricken most of the time. She is getting bigger. 15"overall and 5.5" svl.

September, 2001 - Have seriously thought about trading Tashmoo for another cyclura, possibly a Cuban. She is not acting at all like the iguanas I had heard about when I did the research. Very daunting indeed. I feel terribly to even be thinking about this.

November, 2001 - A good friend of mine in Michigan has convinced me to ride this out. She claims that when they get some size on them that the cyclura calm down dramatically. Let's home so. I don't handle her much so a lot of this is my fault. I just don't like to get bitten and whipped at. It is so traumatic to get her out of her cage. She calms a tiny bit if she is out for awhile. NOT the sweet little creature I was envisioning.

April, 2002 - After a winter of barely handling her I have started to let her out in the computer room here. After letting her out for one whole day on the table in the window I bit the bullet and set up a basking lamp (UVHeat) on the floor with a large basking branch. I think she is big enough to deal with this. I am not that concerned with the cats coming and going as they seem to leave her alone and she postures at them a lot.

May, 2002 - We took Tashmoo to Martha's Vineyard with us for Memorial Day. What a great idea! She is really turning around. Between the freeroaming at home and the "vacation" where she was with us all day every day she is really improving. This is very exciting. She was allowed to walk all over my mother's house (with leash attached and under close supervision) for the weekend. At one point she actually came TOWARDS me. This was a major breakthrough as she has always run the other way or at least moved away from me.

August, 2002 - Tashmoo has improved dramatically. She no longer ever attempts to bite. She allows us to pet her all the time. She doesn't really like to be picked up and poops at first but she allows it. She has gone to several car shows with us and been outside on the leash a great deal this summer. She is enormous and always in some state of shed. I am so glad we toughed it out. She is really nice girl. Thanks Jane for convincing me to keep her!

October, 2003 - Tashmoo is huge. She is growing a LOT. She is a staple in the computer room here and the bigger she gets the more bold she has become. She has taken to chasing out several of the cats. She only allows the white cat to come near her. Probably because he shows no fear and likes to share the basking spot. The cat is wary of her but stands his ground through her posturing. There is a piece of wood in the doorway that keeps Tashmoo in and the dog out of here. It does allow the cats to jump in and out. On several occasions I have seen her chase them right out so they jump out of the room. Very amusing.

January, 2003 - Happy New Year! With the new year we have moved Tashmoo into Pugsley's (male green iguana) room. He has been freeroaming in my reptile room for 9 years now so it is completely ig-proofed. Tashmoo was beginning to be a problem in the computer room. She was sleeping on our keyboards and did not appreciate being woken up when we wanted to use them. For about a month we started to let her out of her room to see what she would do. At first all she did was venture into the hallway and poop out there. I finally got smart and pooped her first. At first if she didnt have to go out there she didn't. Then she started to get brave and after a little while would go out into another room down the hall. This is a room with a skylight. She would go in there and sit in the "real sun". Then I started to let Pugs out of his room to see what would happen. She was scared of him at first. If he actually ventured into her room she would gape at him and "fake bite" at him. He paid her no mind and would just leave. Gradually we started to let her into his room to see what would happen. Pugs seemed fine with it all and she was nice to him in his room.

March, 2003 - She has gotten so used to us that we can walk all around her and she barely pays any attention to us. She bobs at us constantly but it is not an agressive thing. She is getting bigger and bigger every day. She is getting along with Pugsley just fine. They even bask together. She has a large stump/branch on the floor with a uvheat and Pugs has his basking spot up on a shelf in a window. They move around all day and use all the spots. The only "issue" we had was one day I found her in the middle of the superworm container hoovering up superworms. I thought she didn't have access to that. Of course the worms have been relocated!

May 2003 - Tashmoo stops eating nearly completely. We think there are eggs.

June 26, 2003 - Xray shows possible eggs. Xray done from the side so hard to tell. Mental note; don't take iguanas to dog and cat vets as we didn't really find anything out we didnt already know.

July 14, 2003 - Second xray by reptile vet confirms eggs. At least 5 possibly 6. She is not in any distress so we wait...

August 21, 2003 - She appears uncomfortable. She has not eaten hardly at all yet has not lost much weight. I make an appointment for the next day.

August 22, 2003 - Xray shows no eggs. But why is she still not eating and acting uncomfortable. Vet aspirates pinkish white fluid from her abdomen. This is not good. We decide to do surgery to at least remove any eggs there might be and to clean her out. Possibly spay her but will wait to get in there to see what to do. Vet calls later that evening to tell me he removed 3 shelled eggs and 3 follicles. He did not spay her. She has woken up from the anesthesia and is breathing on her own. Generally speaking this means she should be ok.

August 23, 2003 - Vet calls to tell me she died overnight. Her lungs filled up with blood. I am devastated. She had come so far and was such a good girl. I cannot believe it. Vet sends off a piece of the lung tissue. Says it looked funny and thickened. We assume that it was the egg yolk peritonitis that got to the lung tisse. We pick up her body and bury her in the backyard. A dismal day for sure.

August 27, 2003 - results of the lung tissue sample come in. Her lung tissue was mineralizing. This is something usually seen in older green iguanas that have kidney issues. We wonder why a 3 year old cyclura iguana would have kidney issues. We just don't know. She ate a good vegetarian diet with a small amount of animal protein. We have to assume she was predisposed to have kidney issues. We will never know as we didnt do a full necropsy. In hindsight we should have but at the time I just wanted to bring her home.


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