Meet Our Blue Tongue Skink Rescue!

How it all started:

On Monday I got a text from Hubby about a blue tongue skink rescue.

text message about our new blue tongue skink

I have a feeling this will happen a lot in the future.

How could I say no?

So when I picked up Hubby from school that afternoon, I met our newest addition. His original owners apparently dropped it off without any kind of enclosure, so Hubby was carrying it in a cinch sack inside his coat.

I didn’t get a good look at our blue tongue skink rescue until we got home:

blue tongue skink rescue with spine defect

No wonder he called it a “rescue.” Total damage: malnutrition, spine deformity, mouth abrasion, stuck shed, overgrown claws, missing toes, regrown tail, and suggested breathing problems.

Blue tongue skink with severe spine deformity


According to our friend Clint, the skink was close to death when he arrived. Clint has many reptiles of his own, and between caring for them, his family, and working, he didn’t have time for a rescue. At least he was able to fatten him up a bit.

Based on size and the fact that neglectful reptile owners rarely keep their reptiles for very long, we estimated the skink at ~1 year old.

We got to work.

We gave him a bath, clipped his nails, and removed the stuck shed on his toes. Some of them are so raw he might still lose them. :'( After all that, we gave him a good meal. Clint said he wasn’t eating well, but look at the little guy go! No skink can resist my “meatballs.”

Blue tongue skink eating food

…I just remembered how hideous my couch is….

Fortunately we had recently picked up a 55 gallon tank for separating Nabooru and Deliora, along with extra heat lamps. Even though it’s only 48x13x20 (4 sq ft), we suspect it’s MUCH better than the bin he had been living in before. Due to the skink’s raw toes, we set up a fairly sterile environment: fleece blanket, flagstone for basking, hide, and water dish.

And we decided to call it “Kinks” until we could figure out a more dignified title. After a quick experiment with Morgana (who recently dropped a sperm plug to inform us he is, in fact, MALE, and is now re-named Hermes), we think it’s most likely Kinks is a boy. Let’s hope he stays that way! 😉

Moving Forward

In spite of being a blue tongue skink rescue case, Kinks is the sweetest bluey I’ve ever met. He loves to explore, but unlike Morgana/Hermes, doesn’t try to hide. And when he gets tired, he’s content to rest with us. I wonder if the calmer temperament is because he’s a Northern…?

blue tongue skink belly

Um…whatcha doing there?

We’re taking him to the vet as soon as we can, but meanwhile we’re giving him daily baths, massaging with mineral oil to keep his scales in good condition, and antibiotic ointment on his raw toes. To fatten him up we’re offering a “meatball” every other day, and extra calcium supplement plus D3 with raw egg in between. We’re told that as he fattens up, the dip in his spine will get less obvious.

Blue tongue skink rescue

And just this morning we settled on a name: Kairos. It’s Greek for “opportunity,” with a connotation of luck. I think it’s fitting, don’t you?

blue tongue skink selfie




  1. He’s doing great now! He has a 4’L x 3’W x 2’H bioactive enclosure with UVB and plenty of things to hide under and even climb on a bit. He’s extremely active when we let him out for supervised free-roaming, and has excellent muscle tone. His appetite could be better (he tends to fast for months every spring), but he always bounces back from that, and his weight and body condition are still acceptable when that happens. He’s turned into a sweet and sometimes sassy little guy that will occasionally chase around a toy alligator when offered.

  2. How is he doing today By? By any chance, is “Clint” the same guy on YouTube with a very well respected reptile channel?

  3. Have you tried dog food yet? Most skinks who like cat food will switch to dog food fairly easily. I don’t really have a specific recipe for the “meatballs” — it’s more of a guideline these days. I just mix variety of skink-safe ingredients together while keeping a 50-50 or 60-40 ratio of protein to vegetables and then freeze portion sizes on a cookie sheet for future use. I include a list of the foods I use as ingredients in the Food section of my Blue Tongue Skink Care Guide. I hope you find it helpful!

  4. I’d love your “meatball” recipe – we have a rescue BTS that can be super picky – these seem like a great way to sneak more veggies into his diet! If it was up to him he would live on cat food and eggs, but I keep telling him he is too old for all that protein, lol. Thank you!