What To Do With A Dead Leopard Gecko?

dead leopard gecko

Leopard geckos are a popular pet choice for many reptile lovers. They are low-maintenance, docile, and fascinating creatures to watch. However, as with any pet, there may come a time when your leopard gecko passes away.

While it can be a difficult and emotional experience, it’s important to know what to do with your deceased leopard gecko. In this article, we will explore the different options available to you and provide guidance on how to handle the situation with care and respect.

What to Do With a Dead Leopard Gecko?

What to Do With a Dead Leopard Gecko?

If you are a leopard gecko owner, it can be a sad and difficult time when your beloved pet passes away. After taking a moment to grieve, it is important to know what to do with your deceased gecko. In this article, we will discuss the proper ways to handle and dispose of a dead leopard gecko.

1. Handling Your Dead Leopard Gecko

When handling your deceased leopard gecko, it is important to wear gloves to protect yourself from any potential diseases. If you suspect that your gecko died from an illness, it is recommended to bring the body to a veterinarian for a necropsy to determine the cause of death. Once you have taken the necessary precautions, you can carefully pick up your gecko and place them in a plastic bag or container for disposal.

It is important to note that leopard geckos are considered biohazard waste, so be sure to check with your state or local regulations on proper disposal methods.

2. Burial

One option for disposing of your dead leopard gecko is to bury them in your backyard or another suitable location. Be sure to find a spot that is away from any potential digging animals and at least three feet deep to prevent any contamination. You may also want to mark the grave with a small memorial or stone.

3. Cremation

Another option is to have your leopard gecko cremated. Many pet cremation services offer individual or group cremation options. Individual cremation ensures that your gecko’s ashes are returned to you, while group cremation means that your gecko will be cremated with other pets and the ashes will not be returned.

4. Donation to Science

If you are comfortable with the idea, you may also consider donating your gecko’s body to science. Some universities or research facilities may accept donations for research purposes.

5. Benefits of Burial

Burial allows for a final resting place for your leopard gecko and can provide closure for the owner. It also allows for a more natural and eco-friendly way of disposal.

6. Benefits of Cremation

Cremation offers a way to keep your gecko’s ashes with you as a memorial. It also ensures that there is no chance of contamination or risk of spreading any diseases.

7. Benefits of Donation to Science

Donating your gecko’s body to science can help further research and understanding of these fascinating creatures. It can also provide a sense of contribution and purpose in your gecko’s passing.

8. Vs. Burial vs. Cremation

The decision between burial and cremation ultimately comes down to personal preference. Burial provides a more natural and eco-friendly option, while cremation allows for a tangible memorial. It is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option before making a decision.

9. Vs. Cremation vs. Donation to Science

The decision between cremation and donation to science may also come down to personal preference and beliefs. Cremation allows for a memorial, while donation to science can further research and understanding. It is important to consider your options and what feels right for you and your gecko.

10. Conclusion

Losing a leopard gecko can be a difficult time, but knowing the proper ways to handle and dispose of their body can provide comfort and closure. Whether you choose burial, cremation, or donation to science, it is important to follow the proper guidelines and regulations for your area. Take the time to remember and honor your beloved pet in a way that feels right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some common questions about what to do with a dead leopard gecko.

What should I do with my dead leopard gecko?

Losing a pet can be a difficult time, but it’s important to handle your leopard gecko’s remains properly. The first step is to remove the body from its enclosure and wrap it in paper towels or a cloth. Then, you can choose to bury your pet in a suitable location, such as a pet cemetery, or you can have it cremated.

If you choose to bury your pet, make sure to do so in a legal and respectful manner. You can also choose to create a memorial for your leopard gecko, such as a small garden or a plaque in your home.

Can I dispose of my dead leopard gecko in the trash?

No, it is not recommended to dispose of your leopard gecko in the trash. This can be harmful to the environment and is not a respectful way to handle your pet’s remains. Additionally, some states have laws against disposing of dead animals in this manner.

Instead, consider burying or cremating your pet as a more appropriate way to handle its remains.

How can I tell if my leopard gecko is dead?

There are a few signs that your leopard gecko may have passed away. These include a lack of movement or response when touched, no breathing or heartbeat, and a limp body. However, it’s important to make sure that your pet is actually deceased before taking any further steps.

If you’re unsure if your leopard gecko has passed away, you can try gently prodding it or checking for a heartbeat. If you’re still unsure, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian or reptile expert.

Can I donate my dead leopard gecko to science?

It is possible to donate your leopard gecko’s body to science, but it is not a common practice. Typically, universities or research facilities will only accept animals that have died of natural causes or specific illnesses.

If you are interested in donating your pet’s body to science, it’s best to contact local universities or research facilities to see if they have any programs or requirements for animal donations.

How can I cope with the loss of my leopard gecko?

Losing a pet can be a difficult and emotional experience. It’s important to take time to grieve and remember your pet in a positive way. This can include creating a memorial, talking to friends or family about your feelings, or seeking support from a therapist or support group.

Additionally, it can be helpful to focus on the positive memories and experiences you shared with your leopard gecko, and to remember that it was loved and cared for during its time with you.


In conclusion, losing a beloved pet like a leopard gecko can be a very difficult experience. However, it’s important to know what to do with your pet’s remains. The three most common options are burial, cremation, and donation to science.

Burial is a popular option for those who want to keep their pet close to home. You can bury your gecko in a backyard or in a pet cemetery. Just make sure to check local regulations before you start digging.

Cremation is another option that allows you to keep your pet’s ashes in an urn or scatter them in a meaningful location. Some pet cremation services even offer personalized urns or memorial jewelry to help you remember your gecko.

Finally, you can consider donating your gecko’s body to science. This option is not for everyone, but it can help further research and education about leopard geckos. Reach out to local universities or research facilities to see if they accept donations.

No matter what option you choose, remember that it’s important to take the time to grieve and honor your leopard gecko’s memory.

Aubrey Sawyer


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