Photo:  Nathan Miller, 13, of Orangefield, will be at the Bridge City at 10 a.m Friday to read a book “The Leopard Gecko.” He will also bring his gecko named Leo.

For the Record

Debby Schamber

The Bridge City Library is hosting a special event with 13-year-old Nathan Miller and his gecko named Leo.

The fun event is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday for children 5 to 10 years old. Nathan will read a non-fiction book, “The Leopard Gecko” by Jake Miller. 

Children will be allowed to pet and touch the gecko to feel his unique skin, but won’t be allowed to hold him due to safety concerns for the children and for Leo. 

Plus, Nathan will happily answer questions about Leo or how to care for a gecko. 

Kelle Miller, Nathan’s mother, works at the library and noticed several children checking out books on geckos. She knew her son, Nathan, had a gecko and this would provide an excellent opportunity for children to see one first hand. Plus, reading a book or being read to at Bridge City Library is always an added bonus. 

Nathan, who is in the 8th grade at Orangefield Junior High School, has had Leo since October in a 10 gallon terrarium. The brightly yellow colored Leopard Gecko was just a baby then and is full grown at around six inches in length. 

But, before he got Leo, Nathan researched thoroughly how to care for his pet. He encourages others to do the same before getting any kind of lizard or gecko.

Initially, he put sand inside the terrarium for Leo, but through studies he discovered Reptabark was best or to make clean up easier, paper towels simply worked best.  

“Most people think lizards are slimy, but they are really not,” Nathan said. 

He describes Leo’s skin as a tough texture on his top side, but his underbelly is soft. 

In addition, for added benefit, it is recommended, geckos have their food occasionally dusted with calcium powder because of their thin legs. Leo eats live insects such as worms and crickets twice weekly. 

Nathan describes Leo’s eating habits as when the food is placed into the terrarium he quickly moves toward it. Once he gets close, he methodically moves closer before pouncing on it and gobbling it up. Geckos are not known for their manners and can be heard crunching loudly on his prey. 

Nathan frequently holds his pet. Geckos commonly have sticky pads on their feet, but Leo has small claws. Both types of footing allows the gecko to hold on tight to the surface he is attempting to hold onto or climb. For Leo, that is usually just his terrarium or Nathan’s neck and shoulder area. 

Geckos normally shed monthly too. Nathan provides an area for Leo to fully shed his skin and all is new again. 

Kelle and Nathan Miller are hoping many can come and join in on the fun and meet Leo too. 

There are plans for new programs in the future for children and adults. Kelle Miller suggests checking at the library or on Facebook on their page of Bridge City Public Library.