If you have been looking into getting a Tokay Gecko, then we do not doubt that you will have seen countless ‘horror’ stories of humans being attacked by these creatures. So, do Tokay Geckos attack humans?
Yes. Tokay Geckos attack humans. However, they will not go out of their way to carry out that attack. A Tokay Gecko bites as a defensive mechanism. Some Tokay Geckos are much more likely to be defensive than others, although all have a bit of a mean streak about them.
Let’s expand upon this a little bit. We are sure you are itching to know why Tokay Geckos attack humans.
Do Tokay Geckos Attack Humans?
Rarely a Tokay Gecko will intentionally seek you out and attack you. They aren’t like that. They are not aggressive in a predatorial way. Instead, they are aggressive in a defensive manner.
In the wild, the Tokay Gecko gets picked on pretty regularly, primarily by birds and other predators. Although, the Tokay Gecko is also extensively hunted by humans.
Because of this, the Tokay Gecko has evolved to have a somewhat territorial and defensive instinct. They tend to aggressively defend it if anything even comes close to encroaching on their space. This is why, if you stick your hand anywhere near a Tokay Gecko, you will end up with a rather painful bite on your hand (or wherever that Tokay Gecko decides to attack!)
The defense mechanism
Now, it is worth noting that while Tokay Geckos are born with this defensive instinct, it is a trait that you find much more often in wild-caught Tokay Geckos. If you have a captive-bred Tokay Gecko, then they are less likely to attack you, although you still have to be aware that the Tokay Gecko can be pretty dangerous if it wants to be.
Of course, we again want to point out that a Tokay Gecko probably isn’t going to seek you out to hurt you. You have to do something that is going to be threatening to it. Although, what a Tokay Gecko decides is threatening can be completely different from what you think is threatening.
Even putting your hand in the tank to feed the Tokay Gecko could probably be enough for you to have a Tokay Gecko latching on to you…and it is going to be pretty tough to get rid of too!
How Do You Stop a Tokay Gecko From Attacking You?
By not touching it. It is as simple as that. If you ask any herp expert, they will probably tell you that the idea of a friendly Tokay Gecko is a myth. You could have formed a decent bond with your Tokay Gecko, and you could have handled them regularly, but sometimes they will still snap. They can’t help it. It is part of who they are.
If you want to stand the lowest chance of the Tokay Gecko attacking you, then your best bet is to look for Tokay Geckos that have been captive bred, although these can be hard to find in some places. They seem less naturally aggressive, although they may still have a bite on occasion.
You should try and handle your Tokay Gecko regularly, perhaps for a few minutes at a time. Although, during those first few weeks or months of ownership, there is still a chance that they will bite you, unfortunately.
This isn’t the type of gecko you want to purchase if you plan to handle the animal regularly. Since they are nocturnal, they probably won’t want to be bothered during the day. This can also cause them to be a bit aggressive.
A Tokay Gecko is not going to attack you for no reason. It is an animal known to attack humans due to its territorial nature. If the Tokay Gecko feels threatened, then there is a strong chance that it will bite you, and that bite will be excruciating. You should avoid handling a Tokay Gecko. While you may be able to tame them, there will be a lot of biting before they get to that point.