Help! Advice needed for new, unexpected rescue gecko


New Member
Hi everyone!

I recently adopted my first juvenile crested gecko after owning leopard geckos for a few years. Shortly after I brought my new guy Zuko home, I heard through the grapevine about another crestie badly in need of a new home after being dumped by it's owner onto an... unenthusiastic friend. I was asked if I wanted to take him in and quickly accepted after seeing the conditions he was kept in. I have adopted all my other geckos as juveniles and I only recently got my first crestie, so I admittedly don't know much about rescuing or rehabbing, but I just couldn't leave him after seeing how afraid he was there.

I've had Cabbage about two weeks now and this poor guy is still so TERRIFIED. Even opening the door to mist and put in food causes him to jump away in fear, even if I'm nowhere near him, and trying to to take him out even just to clean the tank is nearly impossible and extremely stressful for him. He is a sweet boy and not aggressive in the slightest, he's just so scared! They estimated him at about 5-7 years old.

He has only eaten a tiny bit of food here and there, but nowhere near what I would expect. Though, I know it can take a couple of weeks to get his appetite back after a move. He appears surprisingly healthy aside from a dropped tail and he is maybe a tiny bit underweight, but he won't let me weight him so I can't be positive. I have his tank in my bedroom as it's the quietest room in the house. It's a great size and I put what extra hides, vines, and plants I had in there to make him feel more comfortable, but the new things I ordered to make it as it should be won't arrive for another week or so. (I live on a rural island so shipping is horribly slow)

I would love any and all advice you all may have to help me get him settled in better, and I am happy to answer any questions about him or my care to ensure I've been doing everything correctly. Especially anything pertaining to getting him used to being handled would be extremely helpful! I just feel so bad for the poor guy and want to be sure I'm doing everything I can for him to feel safe and comfortable with me.


  • Polish_20210911_231635542.jpg
    1.5 MB · Views: 2


Staff member
Somerville, MA
He's very cute! You could consider covering 2-3 sides of the enclosure so there won't be lots of movement outside of it that upsets him. He may never be friendly. I've had a male crestie that I bought from someone as a breeder for the last 4-5 years. He wasn't mistreated, but I suspect he spent his early life in a rack system and he absolutely hates to be handled. One thing he really likes, that yours may like as well (even if it takes awhile to get it) is a hide that attaches to the side of the enclosure with magnets. He spends most of his time in there. I rarely have to interact with mine at all. Even though he doesn't have a planted tank (his cage is the only one of 8 crestie/garg/leachie cages that isn't planted because it's right under another crestie cage and there's no place for a light), I do have a coco fiber substrate with isopods and springtails so I don't clean the cage; I just let it cycle and it's been fine.
I hope that's helpful.



New Member
Thank you so much, this is a great idea! I have been planning to move him to a different corner to help limit traffic by his cage as he's pretty near my dresser now, but hopefully some more coverage would help him feel extra secure. I'm hoping he'll warm up to me, but if he wants to be left alone that's just fine too. I'm just so glad to have him here!

Visit our friends