Originally Posted by wilkinss77
Tokays are aggressive, and give nasty, bleeding bites & they hang on for ages & bite deep. They aren't handleable unless you put in a lot of time taming them.
I think it is an unfair misconception that these lizards are aggressive by nature. I would consider them to be defensive. In the wild, everything wants to eat these lizards - birds, snakes, spiders, other lizards, small mammals, even humans. With wild caught animals, this defensiveness carries over fully, and with CB animals it seems to fade slowly over generations.
With work, you can gain the trust of an animal, whether WC or CB - I have seen it firsthand with both. It does take work, and you need to make sure the animal realizes you are not harming it. I think the mistake many people make is by trying to defensively handle the lizard (like grabbing it tightly behind the head), since they are assuming it will try to bite - which in turn promotes a defensive biting response.
While they may not be the best pet for everyone - I don't think it's all that fair to discount them. A tame tokay, IME, is like a large leopard gecko, plus the toe pads and the wicked blue coloration.
This is just my thoughts, based on what I have seen firsthand with buddies tokays and heard anecdotally.
I will agree with one thing though - if they do bite, it's going to be a nasty one. When I worked with a reptile rescue years back, they compared an adult's bite to that of a baby alligator. I've never been bit by a baby alligator, but I can only assume that was a fair comparison!
Thank you for your input
Originally Posted by TobiGER
when looking at your wishes and conditions I would recommend getting a crested gecko. They can get a little bit "tame" (I don't really like using this word for reptiles) and can sometimes be handled. But I wouldn't do this very often. Maybe 2-3 times a month maximum. Handling a reptile can be very stressful for them! But I think a crested gecko is the right gecko for you.
Day geckos are awesome, too. They look beautiful and can be housed in beautifully planted enclosures. But in my opinion it's impossible to handle them as they are very fast.
Tokay geckos look great and they're pretty big. But in my opinion they don't make a good pet reptile. They're very aggressive and a bite from them really hurts! That's why you shouldn't actually handle a Tokay.
Furthermore they can scream quite loudly!
Again: I would recommend getting a Crested gecko.
I am not a huge fan of the word tame with reptiles either. I think they moreso tolerate handling, and some larger species (tortoises, tegus, green/Cyclura iguanas, some beardies) seem to actively seeking it out, because they've learned to associate humans with food, and scratches, which can't feel too bad 😉
I think 2-3 times a month to handle a crested gecko as a maximum is very conservative. While is really depends on the health and personality of the individual animal, I think it's fair to say that the average crestie can be handled more often than that. I think most reptiles in fact should be handled, unless they are to be STRICTLY display species, meaning they aren't handled a day in their life. This gets the animal used to handling, and helps in situations like a vet trip - especially when working with larger animals like monitors and large snakes. One that has never been handled in their lifetime is not a pleasant creature to all of a sudden try to handle.
I agree that the day geckos are beautiful species, but I am not sure I would say they're impossible to handle. Rether difficult, yes - and certainly not a pet for handling often, but impossible is a very broad term. I do think these aren't quite for me, though - as I do want something that can reliably be handled.
As for the tokay, please read my response to the poster above - I think they carry a reputation that is undeserved.
A bite definitely hurts, but I think it's ignorant for people to suggest that these lizards cannot be handled - especially because they can become so puppy-dog-like, similar to a leopard gecko.
I think my decision has come down to either a crestie or a tokay (a pair, rather). Thank you for your input!