First we thought it’s a dog on the photo, but this is what it turned to be…


When homeowners consider having a low-maintenance pet, they mostly opt for a hamster or fish. On the flip side, several homeowners believe cats and dogs are the only great pets around. Of course cats and dogs are lovely pets, but did you know that lizards can also be as affectionate as these common animals?

No doubt lizards are not as cute as these favorite pets. And nobody says the reptiles are as soft and comfy as these fluffy little animals. But the lizard has its uniqueness.

Now, let’s meet MacGyver the Argentine red tegu. The 20-pound giant lizard has gone viral on the internet, winning the hearts of pet lovers.

While giant lizards may not be as cute or smart as a dog, don’t be too fast in ruling them out of your pet list.

Scott and Ice, owners of the reptile pet, say they have no regrets whatsoever since they brought in MacGyver. While their heavy-weighted Argentine red tegu may not show affection like the cats and dogs, it sure has a unique way to express love.


Scott explains that although MacGyver is free to move around the house, when it’s time to sleep, he lays by their feet. He believes that lizard’s ability to show love has been highly underrated all these years.

MacGyver’s YouTube account currently has over 33,000 subscribers, making him the most popular lizard in the world.

Besides his YouTube subscribers, MacGyver also has an Instagram account, Facebook page and surprisingly, a LinkedIn page too – perhaps he needs some business profile.

MacGyver’s popularity got so high that the owners – Scott and Ice – chose to keep their last name private.

Amongst other activities, MacGyver loves to bask in sunlight. So, it becomes pretty easy to move him away if people eventually get to know their residence.

Scott further explains how he (MacGyver) spent several hours basking in the front yard. After all the fun outside, he walked into the bathroom all by himself for a bath.  “He’s pretty smart” Scott added.

Although the giant lizard might not be a genius, Scott says he’s a lot smarter than the common perception people have about reptiles.


Several people also get wrongly informed about the maintenance cost of these unique reptiles.

There is a common believe that lizards are very easy to cater for – this is false.

Scott revealed that getting a prefabricated enclosure for a lizard of that size would cost nothing less than a couple thousand dollars.

This has made lizard owners to establish their person enclosure which costs about $400. Besides, lizards eat a lot. The young ones feed basically on meat. So cost of feeding could be far above most people’s expectation.

However, besides setting up an enclosure and feeding, MacGyver’s demands are not really that much – give him enough time under the sun and he’s just fine.

Since reptiles are cold-blooded animals, regular exposure to the sun helps to regulate their body temperature.

Interestingly, Scott has had a tegu pet before MacGyver.

He recalls back in college days when he kept two – red and blue. Regrettably, he couldn’t move them over on his return to Shanghai. Despite his love for his lizard friends, he had no option than reluctantly to give them out to his neighbor that also loved reptiles.

He met MacGyver when he relocated back to the US in 2012.

Tegu eats large quantities of food.

When Scoot and Ice brought in MacGyver initially, they tried over 20 different types of ground meat- like pheasant, goose, duck and quail – just to make out his favorite meal. And they figured out he would only eat Ilama.



How well does he get along with dogs?

He isn’t so scared of dogs and wouldn’t try to attack them either. He’ll simply lay on his own without a care in the world. As long as the dog doesn’t cross the boundaries.


MacGyver is a friendly animal. When a dog tries to act funny, he’ll simply go his own way.

But it could turn ugly if the dog tries to get too close to the reptile’s face. He could feed on the dog’s nose; mistaken it for llama – the best meal.

While lizard’s love may not be as that of the common pets -cats and dogs- it is so unique.

Right from when MacGyver was a baby, it has always slipped naturally into Scott and Ice’s arms. Such a lovely feeling.

MacGyver is presently a model in the reptile world. A great prove that not only cats and dogs are affectionate – reptiles still does.

While these giant lizards can make great pets, fact is, not everyone can handle one- they are not that easy to care for. And when owners discover, down the line, how difficult these animals are to cater for, they leave them to suffer. So, if you willing and ready to own a pet lizard, simply adopt one!

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