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If at all possible, avoid handling your new savannah monitor for several weeks, as any handling can induce stress, which can be extremely detrimental to your pet’s health. Once he has settled in and seems to be more relaxed in his new environment, spend some more time hanging around his enclosure, allowing him to get used to you.

After your savannah monitor seems used to your presence and is not hissing, biting, or tail lashing, use your hand and arm to scoop him up. Your arm should help to support the lizard as you are lifting him, and you should use your other hand to support his neck area. He should use his claws to hold onto your arm, which may cause you some pain. You can wear gloves to avoid this problem, but gloves can also make it difficult to hold him if he tries to escape.

When handling your savannah monitor, your grip should be firm yet gentle. Pay particular attention to supporting his neck, but do not squeeze it too tightly, as this can break the hyoid bones in his neck, causing strangulation. Also take care not to be rough on his hips, as hip luxation (dislocation of the hip) is a common problem.

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