The Kid's birthday is coming, and--in lieu of more traditional gifts--he's been asking for "a pet that I can keep in my room."
Joe the Ladybug (still thriving, by the way) was just not interactive enough to satisfy, so we began researching other options. I was not interested in having a snake in the house, and Sweet Husband was mysteriously anti-turtle. As such, we pretty quickly narrowed the Kid's options down to either a crested gecko or a herd of hermit crabs. A few visits to the pet store later and the gecko won out.
The Kid named her "Bill". (Yes, it's technically a she, but we're not being real insistent on that point.) And I added the "Wild" in nod to our Jayhawker history, and because she likes to leap through the air like a wild woman...er, gecko.
Right now we're letting her settle in--no holding or excursions for a few weeks until she gets used to her new home--but even watching her in her vivarium she's a fascinating little beastie.
Crested geckos originate from New Caledonia, a small island off the coast of Australia. In fact, that's the only place in the world they're found in nature. They were thought to be extinct until the mid-90's, but have since become popular as pets because they're easy to keep (and breed, apparently, although we don't plan to test that) in captivity. In the wild, Bill would use her leaps to get from treetop to treetop.
While Bill largely eats a prepared "crested gecko diet" (think "green smoothie for geckos"), our pet store recommended we supplement her with crickets, too. While I'm not thrilled that we're now keeping crickets alive on purpose, the experience of watching Bill hunt them down is worth the wee bit of trouble. Wild Bill Gecko is a stone cold, cricket assassin!
More Bill tales will be forthcoming, no doubt, as the Kid is able to get her out and about. For now, welcome Wild Bill!