Local insects and animals – Eastern bearded dragon

Recently I happened upon a life or death situation in the middle of the road. An Eastern bearded dragon (a young one of about 20cm long) had made his way into the road to soak up some precious late Winter/ early Spring sunshine and a young Butcher bird had spied him. The Butcher bird had swooped down and began the attack by trying to blind the unfortunate lizard. Luckily for the lizard, a hungry magpie had heard the Butcher birds excited squawks (he was also a young one) and decided to come and take the easy meal away. When I came on the scene I saw a frenzy of black, white and grey feathers with the occasional flash of greyish scales and a tail. I leapt out of the car (after pulling over to the side of the road) and picked up the tiny lizard, to the great confusion, disappointment and disgust of the two birds involved and continued on my way home.

The poor little dragon burrowed into my neck under my chin looking for a safe, warm place to hide all the way home and I felt very protective.

Once he was home, my daughter and I had a look at him and we both thought he had probably lost his eye on that side. So we popped him into a cage near the fire with some warm water and some hot rocks to lie on (well, my daughter did, I just went back to work).

As it turned out, he didn’t lose his eye. The lid was damaged, but the eye underneath was OK. Once he had warmed up a bit, we washed the eye out with warm water and had a really good look at it, he didn’t like it much, but it did allow him to open his eye.

Over the weeks he has recovered quite well. He has had his sore eye washed out daily with clean water and been offered all sorts of yummy food. He eventually decided to start eating live meal worms and has now moved on to spinach leaves and corn. He will be returning to the wild very soon as his eye appears to be healing well.

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