Amazing Return of My Wayward Veiled!!!


New Member
A couple weeks ago I posted about my mistake in free ranging my Chameleons. I'm relatively new to Chameleons but not to caring for pets and until then I had never lost one of my pets..ever!
I have a fake tree which has been their free range alternate from the cage all winter. None of mine have never dropped from the tree and explored from the tree inside, but then again, I never left them on that tree when I left my place.
So on the first sunny warm spring day, I had the bright idea to take the tree outside by my front door and then set about allowing each one out on the tree for about an hours' time to soak of the "real" sun. It was a warm 75 degrees that day.
The first 3 Veiled did great. But then I allowed one of my females ( who had recently bred) to "free range". I went to check on her and found her on the lower branches. I even snapped a photo of her hanging upside down and then moved her to the top of the tree again. Little did I realize that she was not out of the breeding zone and her mating behavior was driving her to look for a mate ( at least this is what I figured now in retrospect. ) So I went to check on her again in a few minutes and she was gone..really gone!! I checked in and around where I live. I even tested another chameleon to see what kind of escape behavior they would have if dropped from this point and he took off like a banshee. I had to run to catch him. Unfortunately, this did not lead me to her.
Then, every day from morning to night and often during the night ( with a flashlight) I kept looking for her. I was constantly haunting other peoples bushes and flowers. I'm sure some people wondered why I was so interested in their flower pots!
To give you an idea of the environment, I am a full time RVr and live in a nice KOA campground.. and there is all kinds of constant activities including all kinds of huge rigs, kids with bikes, motorcycles and lots of dogs and a few wild cats which occupy this general area. In addition, the weather turned COLD (down to 45 at night, 50's and 60's during the day at times) RAINY ( at least a week of unrelenting rain ) and I really thought she was dead So after two weeks I gave up looking for her, especially after the large grass mowers and weed eaters came through the park last week. Even to make matters worse, we had a couple full weekends with weekenders from out of town. And yes, by the way, this place is surrounded by thick woods. So how in the world would a tiny young cold sensitive Chameleon possibly survive all these dangers and do so for two weeks on her own???
I really cant tell you how she did it, because she doesnt talk! But she was found today, crossing a fairly busy road in front of an RV neighbor who knew that I had lost her.This neighbor saw a couple kids taking a picture of something in the road At first she thought they were looking at a large frog, but then it dawned on her that it might be my Chameleon. She just happened to be looking out her window at the right moment and then ran to rescue her and brought her back to me. I am still shocked and amazed she survived this long on her own. In addition, she was fat and healthy. She looks great!!!! She was found no more than 200 feet from where she escaped.
I consider myself ( and her ) very lucky today. What I learned from this mistake was not to free range without considering the dangers.
I had since taken my guys out in their cages and set them out in a good area if I want them to have the "real sun".
I am not faint of heart. I am a bail bondsman ( woman ) use to recognizing danger. Although I did not recognize this danger. Again..amazing..thankful!!! My neighbor is going to get a gift card..I couldn't be more pleased!! I guess the lesson here is to keep looking no matter how much you think you will never find them.
Holy cow!!!!!! Thats absolutely amazing!! I remember reading your first thread and I had pretty much figured a bird must have gotten her, but didn't want to say anything that negative. That is so cool! That's funny that she came back fat, she must be a badass
On a slightly more serious note I would probably get a fecal done if she's been eating who knows what for the past few weeks
Great story and what a happy ending! I guess it proves that they are much more hearty than we think,especially when we are so diligent about keeping the temperatures just right. So glad you found her and no more free ranging unless you are willing to pull up a chair!
Thank you for your comment. I will find that last photo I took of her and then one from today and post them. 1000 ways to kill your pet, and she survived all of them!!
Thank You..thank you..I hope no one ever has to go through this heartbreak...hopefully others can learn from my stupid mistake!
Good idea..thanks..will do! I did drop a bunch of crickets around my place in hopes of finding her the day I lost her. Weird hearing crickets this early in the season around here at night..guess we will have an early start..
Congrats! What an amazing and heartwarming story.

It sounds like she is getting big and getting ready to lay. Make sure you have a laying bin ready for this little adventurer :)

Sounds like you two are a perfect match.. a couple of badass females :)
See I said not to give up on her!! I just felt she would come back to you. Sometimes it just takes a while for them to be found.

Big congrats, I am happy she is home and the two of you are back together.:):):D
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