NEPTUNE CITY - Pet owners may have noticed that their pet lizards and snakes have been especially lethargic since Hurricane Sandy. There's an explanation as to why these animals are eating less, moving less, and sleeping more.
Mike GaNun, the owner of Mike's Pet Center in Neptune City, explained to News 12 New Jersey that the storm brought along colder than usual temperatures. "When Hurricane Sandy came, it got real cold," GaNun says. "People didn't have power in the house. It started a false hibernation for a lot of reptiles."
He says pet owners shouldn't worry too much. Most of the reptiles will be fine by March.
Sadly, many tropical lizards that can't hibernate and need warmth died during the extended power outages. However, many dragons and snakes normally cool down in the winter months, so they've survived the cold and outages by entering a longer, deeper hibernation than usual.
GaNun recommends feeding snakes and lizards less live food during this hibernation period. He says any live food that is not eaten should be removed so the pets are not harmed by it.
Reptile owners should also keep some hand warmers in the house. In case of an extended power outage, owners can break them out, wrap them with newspaper, and put them in the animal's tank. Snakes and lizards will curl up next to them to keep warm.