Zane Buresh wanted a pet snake, but his mom didn’t have the stomach to feed it live mice. If he couldn’t have a snake, a leopard gecko was the next best thing. Unsure where to find a rescued reptile, the family went to a pet store, where it adopted 6-month-old Spot. That was nearly 15 years ago, and Spot has outlived all of the other pets. “I didn’t realize they lived that long,” Buresh’s mom, Laurel Hoitsma, says. “I said, ‘If that gecko is still alive, you’re taking him to college.’ But that didn’t happen. He stayed here with us. He’s so low maintenance.” The family was drawn to Spot because of his detailed markings. He has lots of spots — even for a leopard gecko — and the colors dim whenever he prepares to shed his skin, which he later eats for nutrients. Unlike dogs and cats, Spot doesn’t need a lot of human interaction, and the family keeps him in the tank so other pets don’t attack him. Instead, family members like to watch Spot hunt the crickets they feed him a couple times a week. “Everybody loves Spot,” Hoitsma says. “What they don’t love are the crickets. But I’ve never had anybody say ‘Ew’ because [Spot] is so pretty.” 

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