Beef Jerky is probably not the first thing you would think of to name your new iguana rescue. We almost didn't even name her - giving an animal a name deepens the attachment and the sense of loss if things don't improve as we hope they will. In this case, however, Beef Jerky was the perfect description for a very sick little lizard.
Severely thin and dehydrated, this young iguana arrived at The Creature Conservancy from the Humane Society of Huron Valley. She had been surrendered to them by her previous owner who probably hadn't intended to neglect her needs. Reptile care, however, can be difficult and exacting. Luckily, the employees at HSHV knew we had the staff, facilities and know-how to save this exotic species, and we got right to it.
Beef Jerky's skin was being assaulted by a creeping bacterial/fungal infection. She was also suffering from nutritional deficiencies and was just plain cold. The Creature Conservancy immediately put her into an environment with the proper heat, humidity, ventilation and lighting conditions. She had daily baths in medicated water and was doused with iodine to treat her skin malady. Our volunteer staff spent lots of time picking fresh clover blossoms, rose petals, day lilies and dandelion flowers for Beef Jerky to graze on. We were delighted and somewhat surprised that her appetite picked up so early on.
By the end of her first week at the Conservancy, she was hydrated and a little plumper. By week two, her skin color and condition had improved - she was starting to look pretty good! By week three, we were able to stop all treatments (besides the flowers, of course). She was stable and on her way to a wonderful life living with us.
Thanks to our great staff and the support of our donors, Beef Jerky continues to thrive at The Creature Conservancy.
(Click on the photos to enlarge.)