While in the Petland I saw something repulsive, but sadly common here in NYC. While waiting for the crickets for my own Golden Gecko, I walked over to the reptile section to see what they had for sale. I was particularly interested in seeing if they had any crested geckos for sale, since I was so pleased the last time I purchased a crested gecko (at a Reptile Expo).
They didn't have any crested's but they did have a 10 gallon tank with over 7 geckos in it! Many were Golden Geckos. The first rule of owning reptiles is you NEVER place two males in the same tank, and you NEVER place 2 geckos in the same tank if the tank is small. A 10 gallon tank, while the perfect size for one Golden Gecko, is not a good size for 7 geckos.
While looking in the tank, I wondered how stressed these geckos were. They didn't seem to be fighting while I was in the store, but many were hiding behind rocks and fake leaves. That is when I noticed the second disturbing thing. A Tokay Gecko and a Flying Gecko.
Now normally, it is okay to have Golden Geckos and Tokay Geckos in the same tank, provided the tank was big enough. A 10 gallon tank is simply not big enough . And as I kept looking I also saw a striped Gecko and a Flying Gecko, all in one tank. Over 7 geckos, and 4 different species in one small 10 gallon tank? It is inhumane. It is almost as bad as running a puppy mill! The second rule to owning geckos is this: Whenever possible NEVER EVER mix 2 different gecko species within the same tank!
Now I was a bit upset, but this is the only Petland in my area, and I have been to various other Petland Discount stores, and I have witnessed the same thing. But something really drew me furious that day. While looking at a Golden Gecko, I saw it had a gash where it's eyebrow should be. It has been fighting. Of course the workers at Petland probably never saw them fight, since when geckos fight, everyone is most likely off work, but it is very upsetting to see the gecko in a dangerous living situation. I began to think about how many geckos died in this Petland alone. Rule 3 of raising geckos: If a gecko is in a dangerous situation in a tank, PUT IT IN ANOTHER TANK!.
I understand that Petland might not have the brightest employees (although I am sure many of them have college degrees and feel just as sorry for these animals as I do), but I am shocked. They are in a position to do something about the conditions these animals are in. They are supposed to be knowledgeable about the animals they sell. And they have everything they need to house and care for these animals right there in the store!
In short, there is no good reason why these animals were put under these horrible conditions, and the only thing I can think of is that it saves time, or money, to do it this way. But is time and money worth the health of these animals? And what about the ethical or moral implications of having animals which are known to be fighting with each other in potentially dangerous situations by placing them in close proximity to each other?
So my Golden Gecko Grievance is this: Why is it that big corporations like Petland are able to rule the Pet Market when they know so little, and seemingly care even less about what they are selling?
The first answer that comes to mind is money. But that is a different story entirely.
It is a good thing that I am quickly finding solace in something very different. The Reptile Expo date is coming up quickly. I am attempting every method I know to save as much as possible so that I may be able to purchase a better tank for my crested gecko, and perhaps another Sarracenia.