Den (dewhitton) wrote,

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Blue tongue lizard

I had to euthanase a blue tongue lizard today.

The lizard was handed to me in a box, and the bloke saidit had a cut on its tail. I thanked him and put the box somewhere cool to quieten the lizard a little before I handled it. As soon as I opened the box an hour later I could smell That Smell. "The cut on the tail" was, infact , a 5mm wide hole that opened into the lizard's abdomen, just before the left rear leg. The hole reeked, and was full of maggots.

Euthanasing a reptile is the single most brutal, disgusting thing a carer has to do. The problem is their metabolism. They can survive chloraform for over an hour, and leth-o-barb at the vet's can up to 30 minutes to kill them. Scientists have discovered that the brain can survive for 15 minutes after decapitation. There is only one way to euthanase a lizard or snake humanely: the brain has to be destroyed.

I carefully wrapped the lizard in some thin rag and placed it on the concrete. Then, with an axe, I decapitated it, and with the back of the axe I crushed the skull. It was brutal, bloody, and quick.

I hate having to kill things, but I really, really hate having to kill lizards.

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