Neil (nt) wrote,

This is an anecdote L wrote up for a reptile club newsletter. I had to type it for her, so I cut and pasted it to my journal...


One of our house geckos escaped during a terrarium cleaning. "Hek" evaded capture and gave us cheek from various parts of the apartment. Hek had a routine -- from one picture to the other on the wall, and as soon as he was safely behind a picture, he would announce his presence with a loud yak-yak-yak. We tried to catch him, but he was too fast. We set up traps, but he was so cautious, never venturing near anything strange or new.

He was eating well and we made sure there was food and water. Holiday time came around and Hek the Geck was still loose. We redoubled our efforts to catch him with the result that he became even more evasive. Was he fast!

We worried how he would do being loose in a high-rise apartment on the 30th floor. We left gecko pellets and water and sprouts in the houseplant pots and hoped for the best. Two weeks in Hawaii at our favorite hotel had been booked and as usual on the evening before departure a suitcase was left open for last minute additions. Morning came, the last of the packing done we made sure windows and doors were secure and temperature was OK, and rather anxiously left the place with Hek the Geck running loose.

Arrived in Hawaii -- what a wonderful place! Unpacked and relaxed in a suite in our favorite hotel. That night we were startled to hear yak-yak-yak. We looked at one another aghast. We had never heard or seen a gecko there before, let alone on the top floor of the hotel. We surmised Hek had gotten into our suitcase and survived the trip. We looked behind pictures and curtains, but couldn't find him (that wasn't unusual as he was not easy to find even when we knew where he was). Apart from the concern of a stowaway animal and how he would do, we eventually decided we were innocent and that Hawaii was really a wonderful place for any gecko.

Next night, we heard yak-yak-yak on the balcony, and with our flashlight spotlighted a house gecko -- a much smaller and slimmer one than Hek. Relief! We hadn't aided and abetted a stowaway.

This then opened up a whole new vista of Hawaii for us. We saw lots of geckos and anoles and even found a newly hatched one on a tree and several batches of eggs. We had never looked before.

When we arrived home, Hek was as fat and sassy as ever, and within a few weeks he got careless and we caught him. He is doing well. He doesn't yak as much; there are no pictures on the walls of the terrarium for him to look down on us from.

PS: Hek is a lady, an Indo-Pacific gecko hemidactylus garnotii.

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