Our Bushland Diary

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

one sick lizard

On a recent expedition, someone found a very sick bobtail lizard in bushland.  It was emaciated, with a skinny flat tail where it should have a big lumpy fatty one.  Although the weather was reasonably warm, the lizard was lethargic and slow-moving.  No hissing, no wide-mouthed threat display; no defensive response at all.  Instead, half-closed eyes, and a general disinterest in its surroundings.  (Exactly how I feel when I have the 'flu.)  Off to the vet with you!

Poor bobtail was taken to Kanyana Wildlife Hospital for some expert care and attention.  You can read about the treatment they give to bobtail flu victims on this link.  

Bobtails, also known as sleepy lizards, pinecone lizards, blue-tongues and shinglebacks, are one of the most commonly-encountered reptiles in the bush.  They have the appearance of a  slow-moving mini dinosaur. They are not venomous, but their strong jaws are designed for crushing invertebrates so they can give a hard bite.  Sometimes they can be found in gardens, where they can thrive and do a brilliant job of keeping the snails and slugs under control.  Read more about bobtails here.

If our lizard recovers, it will be brought home to be released in its local bushland home, close to where it came from.


  1. I look forward to hearing how the lizard is doing after the treatment at the wildlife hospital. Any chance of an 'after' photo? I guess it will be the opposite of those usual 'diet' photos we see in magazines ^-^

  2. Oh, yes, I will put up a photo and report on the lizard's progress! See the first diary entry for 25 October 2010.