You remember Zipper, don’t you? He’s my son’s pet leopard gecko. Well, the other day I finally caught on camera something that happens to Zipper about once every month or so which fascinates me to no end. I know some of you will think it’s disgusting, but I love to watch Zipper when he sheds his skin.
It is really quite the process. A few days before he actually sheds, you can tell the time is approaching because he starts to turn white from his nose to the tip of his tail. However, because he is nocturnal, sometimes he sheds at night and we don’t see the transformation. This time, I was getting ready for work, when I decided to check on Zipper. He was really white, so I took him out of his cage and sprayed him down with a bottle of warm water. That seems to help the process quite a bit. Then, just as I was walking out the door, I decided to check on him one more time only to find that the shedding had begun. I had lots of time, so I grabbed my camera.
The first thing that happens is the skin starts to peel back from his face, and it looks like he is wearing a little bonnet :). He helps the process by rubbing himself along the side of his cage.
As I have a fetish for peeling sunburns, I always get the urge to help him pull the skin off, but I know he has to do it himself. The only time I have ever stepped in was one time when the skin rolled up around his neck like a collar, and it became so thick that he couldn’t pull it, so I took a pair of nail scissors and snipped it so that he could rip it easier.
The more he drags himself along the wire mesh of his cage, the further down his body the skin peels.
Eventually, he starts contorting himself into the most awkward positions to pull on the skin with his mouth. He pulls and pulls for all he’s worth, and as the skin comes off he eats it. I know, that part is kind of gross, but his skin is full of vitamins so it’s good for him. The most fascinating part is when he pulls the skin off his legs because it all comes off in one piece, and the end result looks like a glove, fingers and all.
In the last photo, you can see him eating the skin, and his little tongue partly sticking out. Isn’t he cute with his beautiful new skin? Good job Zipper!!