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Meet Jelly the leopard gecko and hear how she was rescued from the poor condition she was in to how Animal Wonders was able to help her become happy and healthy.

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Hi, guys! Welcome back to Animal Wonders!

I'm Jessi, and I am passionate about doing all that I can to help give animals a good and happy life. Our organization can't rescue every single animal that crosses our path, so I try and provide information on this channel to teach others how to join the cause, and rescue and adopt and give the animals in your care a happy and healthy life.

Today, I'd like to talk to you about a little animal we took in a few weeks ago, and maybe by sharing her story, we'll help prevent others from suffering the same ordeal.


Here is Jelly; she is a leopard gecko. Her coloration is different than you'd find on a wild leopard gecko and I believe she's called a chocolate albino, though I'm not a hundred percent sure so if you know your leopard gecko color morphs, let me know if I'm right.

Now, we've rescued a lot of different animals over the almost 10 years Animal Wonders has been an organization and sometimes they come to us in pretty poor condition. Jelly was one of those animals that was on the verge of going down a very bad slope in health.

This is what she looked like the day we met her. We were able to bring her back quickly and as you can see she's doing great now. I'm going to put her down for a bit, because I'd like to talk about how she came to us and how I quickly fixed her condition.

Our paths first crossed when I got a phone message from a mom asking if we could take in some of her son's reptiles. Her son could no longer keep them, and she didn't want to keep caring for them herself, but she wanted to be responsible and make sure they didn't end up being passed from home to home. She wanted them to be well taken care of.

When she heard about Animal Wonders from her son, who had seen one of our presentations at his school, she knew she wanted them to come here. While I really do want to help every single animal who needs a home, the truth is that we can't just take in every animal or we'd run out of resources and no one would get the proper care they need.

She had a leopard gecko and a Russian tortoise. I decided that we could take in the gecko, because we had an open enclosure large enough to provide a good home, but we couldn't take in the tortoise, because we just don't have the space.

We already have two red-footed tortoises, Yucca and Titus and they take up a whole room, and they would not be very nice to a small Russian tortoise if we had them in the same space. To help make up for turning the tortoise away, I put the word out to all my contacts to see if anyone I knew had an available home for her.

So we drove an hour to go and pick up this little gal. The owner was so grateful to have found a home that knew how to care for her, and I was grateful that she asked for help when she did.

When we got back to Animal Wonders, I assessed Jelly's condition and the first thing I noticed was that she was not used to being handled. She was very nervous and defensive trying to bite. I had to be very careful I didn't stress her out enough to make her feel like she needed to drop her tail.

While I handled her carefully, I could tell by the thickness of her tail that she was slightly underweight, but not starving. Also, all of her toes were intact. Often leopard geckos will lose toes due to improper shedding, so I was happy to see her toes were all healthy. I could really tell that she had been loved by her previous owner.

The main problem was her eyes and mouth. She had severe retained sheds that covered her whole mouth, nose and eyes. Her eyelids were stretched and I was worried about possible permanent damage to her eyes if the retained skin prevented her from closing them completely.

I drew a warm bath in the sink for her to begin soaking right away. I wanted to see if I could at least remove the retained skin from her eyes to give her some relief. This is something that you can do too, if you rescue a reptile in a similar condition. Soaking in warm water is great for many reptiles who are in the process of shedding their old scales, because it softens the scales and makes them easier to rub or pull off.

Jelly loved her soak. It was challenging to keep her calm while removing the first layers of retained shed, but eventually I was able to get her eyes clear. She almost immediately calmed down and started exploring her nose with her tongue doing her best to help out. She was just so relieved to be able to see again, but the work wasn't done yet.

She still had one more layer of retained shed covering her nose and front of her mouth. It was the most recent shed and it was stuck too tightly for me to remove. All I could do was wait for her next shed and make sure I provided a nice humid place for her to go to loosen up her old scales and hope that the retained shed would come off with it.

Here's the humid hide I made for her. I filled it with sphagnum moss and misted inside of it twice a day, and now she’s shed and she looks great. Now that she shed I only moisten the moss every few days. I'll keep it more humid the next time I see she's about to shed.

I'm so happy to see her looking so healthy. It just goes to show that she had been receiving fairly good care until something happened in the last three to six months. It's so important to know that exotic animals, those that are not domesticated and those that are not native to your region, need constant and consistent care for their entire lives, and even when you've done your research and think you're doing everything right, it's easy to overlook something.

This is why I strongly recommend making sure you have a vet knowledgeable and experienced with caring for the species of animal you have, and to check in regularly to make sure you're covering all the animals special needs.

Jelly is doing really well and I've been handling her for small amounts of time every day. When I go to pick her up, I move slowly and deliberately, so I don't surprise her. She knows that she's going to be picked up and she doesn't act defensively. You can see she's pretty calm and fairly comfortable being handled, which is really good compared to that first day, though I'd probably be pretty feisty if I was uncomfortable for so long, too. She's doing great eating meal-worms, crickets and small cockroaches. Her tail is fattening up nicely, and I'm just so pleased with her health.

Thanks for letting me share Jelly with you today. I hoped you enjoy her as much as I do. If you'd like to meet more animals check out our meet-and-greet playlist link is below. And, if you'd like to learn more about all kinds of animal things subscribe to our YouTube channel, Animal Wonders Montana.

From everyone here at Animal Wonders, thanks, and we'll see you next week!