Considerations for taking my chameleon outside

Hello!
I’m a newcomer to the community but have been learning a lot over the months from you all. Thanks!

We have a 4 month old male Panther Chameleon and I’ve gotten into the habit of taking him outside (along with his ficus) to eat some of his meals. I’m really hoping to get him to associate food and sunshine with being taken out of his cage.

Anyway, things have been going great but there have been a few questions I’ve had while observing him.

- Can the sun damage his eyes? He sometimes looks like he is staring right at it.

- There will sometimes be flies or yellow jackets that fly by or land in the plant. Is it advisable that I intervene so he doesn’t eat a non-gutloaded insect or should I let him do his thing?

- how long is too long to be outside? Obviously they naturally live outdoors but I’m just wondering if you all think that 30 minutes outside in the morning will be too stressful for him since he is young.

Thank you for your feedback! I attached a picture of Skittles so you can see why I’m infatuated with him ;)
 

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CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello!
I’m a newcomer to the community but have been learning a lot over the months from you all. Thanks!

We have a 4 month old male Panther Chameleon and I’ve gotten into the habit of taking him outside (along with his ficus) to eat some of his meals. I’m really hoping to get him to associate food and sunshine with being taken out of his cage.

Anyway, things have been going great but there have been a few questions I’ve had while observing him.

- Can the sun damage his eyes? He sometimes looks like he is staring right at it.

- There will sometimes be flies or yellow jackets that fly by or land in the plant. Is it advisable that I intervene so he doesn’t eat a non-gutloaded insect or should I let him do his thing?

- how long is too long to be outside? Obviously they naturally live outdoors but I’m just wondering if you all think that 30 minutes outside in the morning will be too stressful for him since he is young.

Thank you for your feedback! I attached a picture of Skittles so you can see why I’m infatuated with him ;)
Welcome to the forums. Skittles looks amazing and reminds me a lot of my boy Jellybean. He's a pretty boy!

All you need to worry about when it comes to outside time is the temp, humidity, UVI index, and of course monitoring him from running away or getting eaten by a predator. I usually don't take my boys outside unless it's above 78* if humidity is at optimal range and temp at 78-90* he could chill out all day long in theory. Most people in California keep there chams outdoors most of the year. If humidity is not ideal that day or you start to see him gape from being to hot I usually limit the time to 20-30 min. Main sure they have shade to escape the sun and a patch of sun if they need to warm up.

Technically the outside bugs are gutloaded we just don't know with what. Could be some awesome gutload or it could be a belly full of pesticides you'll never know. I'd say if you can prevent it from happening sure go ahead and try. If he snags one or two though it's usually not the end of the world.

Again welcome to the forums. I hope I answered all your questions.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Lets see here:

No the sun can not damage his eyes, he is fine in full sun

Yes anything that flies will be tasted. For some reason they really like bees. Just make sure he doesnt eat poisonous stuff like caterpillars, ladybugs, lightning bugs, etc.

How long you can keep him out is based on cage, sun, and air temps.


I have a full sun cage. If its sunny i can take them out even when its 50-55 out, the sun will warm them to the mid 70's no problem.

However once it starts hiting 75 and sunny, they will get too hot and start wanting back in, in about 45-60min.

If its 85 out and sunny i might get 15-20min before they want back in.

If its not sunny i really dont bother. My UVI meter says that cloudy is has less uvb than my bulbs, and if its below 70 they get cold, and if its above 80-85, and the sun pops out, im in trouble.


And im sure others are going to chime in " always be within 4-8ft of your cham if its not in a cage" too many birds/cats/escape artists to deal with.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah I ditto the above feedback... And by the way oh my goodness is he a looker!

I happen to live in far northern Cali. When it is in the 60's here in full sun it is actually in the 80's to 90's. So get yourself a thermometer to measure your actual temps. Don't count on the weather telling you it is 70 because I can promise you in full sun it is going to be much warmer.
I just watch my boy and he lets me know when he is hot and done. So typically we are out for about 20 minutes in full sun because about the time I start sweating he starts gapping lol. But I take him out at least 3 times a week but normally weather provided we go out about 4-5 times a week.

Get your camera ready... The best pics I have gotten are out in the sun. His colors really pop and show that he loves it.
 
Welcome to the forums. Skittles looks amazing and reminds me a lot of my boy Jellybean. He's a pretty boy!

All you need to worry about when it comes to outside time is the temp, humidity, UVI index, and of course monitoring him from running away or getting eaten by a predator. I usually don't take my boys outside unless it's above 78* if humidity is at optimal range and temp at 78-90* he could chill out all day long in theory. Most people in California keep there chams outdoors most of the year. If humidity is not ideal that day or you start to see him gape from being to hot I usually limit the time to 20-30 min. Main sure they have shade to escape the sun and a patch of sun if they need to warm up.

Technically the outside bugs are gutloaded we just don't know with what. Could be some awesome gutload or it could be a belly full of pesticides you'll never know. I'd say if you can prevent it from happening sure go ahead and try. If he snags one or two though it's usually not the end of the world.

Again welcome to the forums. I hope I answered all your questions.
Jellybean is an amazing name! haha

Thank you, I'm currently trying to determine when the gaping is from him being too hot or frustrated with me or concerned that a finch just flew by.

Edit: I just saw that you are from CO... me too! :)
 
Lets see here:

No the sun can not damage his eyes, he is fine in full sun

Yes anything that flies will be tasted. For some reason they really like bees. Just make sure he doesnt eat poisonous stuff like caterpillars, ladybugs, lightning bugs, etc.

How long you can keep him out is based on cage, sun, and air temps.


I have a full sun cage. If its sunny i can take them out even when its 50-55 out, the sun will warm them to the mid 70's no problem.

However once it starts hiting 75 and sunny, they will get too hot and start wanting back in, in about 45-60min.

If its 85 out and sunny i might get 15-20min before they want back in.

If its not sunny i really dont bother. My UVI meter says that cloudy is has less uvb than my bulbs, and if its below 70 they get cold, and if its above 80-85, and the sun pops out, im in trouble.


And im sure others are going to chime in " always be within 4-8ft of your cham if its not in a cage" too many birds/cats/escape artists to deal with.
Thanks, when he just stares at the sun I get concerned but I will stop worrying. The information you provided regarding times and temps is helpful as well!
 

Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Jellybean is an amazing name! haha

Thank you, I'm currently trying to determine when the gaping is from him being too hot or frustrated with me or concerned that a finch just flew by.

Edit: I just saw that you are from CO... me too! :)
Hey welcome to the CO Keepers Crew!! Its been hot hot hot here, so I would just keep your thermal gun with you when you go outside to keep an eye on him. I also bring my mister out and mist him from time to time, it's the only time he seems to enjoy the mister. I never spend more than 10-15 minutes outside with my guy. And usually that's because I get hot lol
 
Yeah I ditto the above feedback... And by the way oh my goodness is he a looker!

I happen to live in far northern Cali. When it is in the 60's here in full sun it is actually in the 80's to 90's. So get yourself a thermometer to measure your actual temps. Don't count on the weather telling you it is 70 because I can promise you in full sun it is going to be much warmer.
I just watch my boy and he lets me know when he is hot and done. So typically we are out for about 20 minutes in full sun because about the time I start sweating he starts gapping lol. But I take him out at least 3 times a week but normally weather provided we go out about 4-5 times a week.

Get your camera ready... The best pics I have gotten are out in the sun. His colors really pop and show that he loves it.
Thanks! He's definitely growing into his namesake. Photography is kinda my thing so I can't think of a better pet to have (besides a lion or leopard ;)
 
Hey welcome to the CO Keepers Crew!! Its been hot hot hot here, so I would just keep your thermal gun with you when you go outside to keep an eye on him. I also bring my mister out and mist him from time to time, it's the only time he seems to enjoy the mister. I never spend more than 10-15 minutes outside with my guy. And usually that's because I get hot lol
Oh man there's a few of you! haha. Is there a CO Keepers Thread?

This. As long as you are close by, you can tell if Skittles is still enjoying time outside and not overheating or stressing.
I'm never more than 4 feet away (much to his dismay I'm sure). haha

Ahhh a new contender for the photo contest!
Oh, I'M SO EXCITED! Does the August contest submission open August 1st?
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
If you are going outside without an enclosure you will have to stay close not just because of predators but also because these guys are ninjas and masters of deception. They are very aware of when they are not being watched and wait to move accordingly. They can be very hard to find when they want be.
 

Rst_Cham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forums! I'm in Denver!
My panther loves being outside. I stay right by him, mister and temp gun in hand and at the ready. I have five little trees in my yard I rotate him through. I monitor temps closely, it's usually only cool enough in mornings right now. We're usually out about 30-45 minutes.
 
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