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Cape Monitor

Varanus albigularis
Family: Varanidae
Adult Size: Cape monitors are large and attain lengths of 6 to 6½ feet

Northwest, central and eastern Africa (Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia) south to South Africa, including Zaire, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and Angola.

Habitat: Wooded areas
Captive Lifespan: 8 to 12 Years
Care Level: Advanced


Cape monitors are large are noted for their aggressive temperaments.

As captive pets, Cape monitors can be fed wax worms, king mealworms, mice and rats (pinkies or fuzzies).

Juvenile Cape monitors can be kept in large plastic containers or aquariums, adults will need considerably larger enclosures. Cape monitors are known to be adept climbers and will benefit from several well-anchored branches in their enclosures.

Cape monitors require temperatures ranging between 82 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with a warmer basking spot (up to about 95 or 97 degrees). Nighttime temperatures can be lowered to around 70 or 75 degrees. A thermal gradient is recommended.