The Barking Gecko

I have owned an odd array of pets over the years. The one that leaves me with the heebie jeebies is the gecko I aptly named Zilla.

Due to fear of copyright infringements and the some of the religious zealots I call friends, I named him Zilla instead of Godzilla.

To dispel any myths, I first must say a few things about this reptile.

-they are quick
-they are agile
-they don’t have British accents
-they don’t like tea or crumpets
-they are not nice
-they don’t like to be touched
– they bark

I brought Zilla home from Reptile gala at the local pet store. I had the pet store guy put him in a ready made reptile ready aquarium equipped with heat stone and reptile light fixture. I had a screen clip on top to keep him from getting out. I also bought about 20 live crickets for him to snack on.

I loved watching him stalk his prey. He would stick himself upside down or sideways on the glass and wait. And wait. And wait. Then BAM. He outstretched his gecko tongue and snapped up the cricket and devoured him.

After a couple of weeks, I knew I needed to clean the aquarium. The question was how was I going to clean the aquarium without “he who can stick to and climb anything” getting away. So back to the pet store I went for some much needed information.

The lizard guru of the establishment gave me the simple rules of the cleaning process.

1- open the cage
2- throw a towel over the gecko and quickly grab him
3- put him in another cage while cleaning
4-repeat the aforementioned 3 steps

The towel is to kind of stun him, in order to make it easier for me to handle. Plus, he apparently is fairly limber and does not like to be touched. When touched their vice grip jaws tend to latch on to whatever is near.

All info I needed BEFORE buying this beast, not after.


I get home. Take the aquarium into the bathroom. And begin the extraction process.

Step 1-no problem
Step 2-I missed, we have a problem

I think he saw the old throw the towel over me trick coming. He dodged it, bolted up and out of the cage. He stopped 7 feet up the wall and turned around. And leered at me.

I wasn’t going to be defeated. He was like 8 inches long. I’m 6 over six feet tall. I wasn’t scared.

I grabbed the towel and started to reach up to just grab him.

Then he BARKED……..

Now I was scared.

And he knew it.

I didn’t know what to do. I tried to reason with him by pleading with him to just be nice and get back into the cage. But like I said, they don’t talk. I heard no “try my insurance sales cliches”, no cute accents, nada.

To make a long story short, I never got him into cage number two.

My repeated attempts failed.

His last bark, before darting up into the vent cover on the ceiling sounded strangely like impersonation of Hans Gruber from the movie Die Hard-

“Yippe Kay Ay, Mudda Fuk”