Captive or wild?


Chameleon Enthusiast
For your first chameleon, I'd strongly recommend a captive bred animal. Wild caught animals take some time to acclimate to captivity, and aren't a good choice unless you already have experience! They tend to be riddled with parasites, and it can be a bit of a process to get them 100% healthy. If the animal had been a long term captive (LTC), you may have better luck... but I personally wouldnt risk it. I don't feel prepared for a WC cham, and I'm a research fanatic!


Chameleon Enthusiast
The only pro I can think of is if you are in a location like Florida or Hawaii where you can go snag one yourself for free.

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
I have both... but let me say this:

If you are [overly] confident in your skills and you want the challenge of owning a WC and trying to "break" it (horse term break). Then by all means get a WC. Note, however, you can't get a true WC panther unless its second hand. Otherwise the WC chams come from a "cash crop" population in my neck of the woods - which evoled from minimal Gene's etc, thus it's not truly a WC.

There's a whole realm of specific just for a WC, most commonly; many carry parasites (which curing can actually cause more issues and stress), the need for a bigger enclosure and more hiding spots, WAY less handling (and you probably are going to want at least one glove).

Most people get a WC cham for "new blood" for breeding. Some get them for the challenge. If you want a pet, get a captive bred/hatched. If you want a headache, heartache, and a cold shoulder, go for a WC.
In my experience the three species I have owned that we're wild caught inevitably came to early deaths, other than one snake who I have who is still alive and well but is still not giving off the signs of happiness. Wild caught almost always carry parasites that they cannot naturally defend against when trapped in an enclosure with them. Only plus I could even think of would be that they do have different personalities than captive need animals, and show behavior you may have never seen otherwise. Even though this is still mostly behavior reflecting their desire to be back where they consider home. I did have one wild caught who seemed very happy in captivity, but it is one of the ones i lost to parasitic complications.
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