Grumpy panther


Established Member
Hi everyone! This is going to be a bit long...

So, I have a 6-month-old male panther cham, Camelot. He is very very grumpy. lol. My last cham was the sweetest thing and I know they all have different personalities and some just don't like being handled, but I don't think that's it. I'm hoping to get some insight and advice.

He used to be perfectly fine and wouldn't give me any issues with handling. He would even eat from my hand, not anymore though. Lately, he has become very grumpy and acts territorial and hisses, puffs out, and tries to bite when I even just put food in his enclosure. He's all bark and no bite though and once I take him out and away from his enclosure his colors change back to normal and he's perfectly happy again. He LOVES when I bring him outside in the sun. I don't know how to explain it, but he always seems like "No, I want to stay outside" when we head back in. lolol. AND, some days I go up to his cage and he's perfectly calm and lets me take him out with no issue at all.

I don't let him think I'm scared of him when he puffs out or acts like he's going to bite. Crazy question... So, my last chameleon was definitely "trainable." He knew when I put a water bottle in front of him that IF he wanted to drink to open his mouth and I'd give a gentle spurt of water. He also got frequent respiratory infections (related to a defect) and his eyes would get full of mucus so, he got used to me cleaning his eyes and would even "help" me. He also learned that if I tapped his nose twice to open it for food (because he couldn't see). So, should I do anything in response to Camelot being mean or should I just continue with positive reinforcement like going outside when he lets me take him out?

Is it just his personality changing and he just doesn't like me? Or is he going through that "teenager phase" and maybe it'll pass? Or is something maybe wrong? I love and will respect the lil' guy no matter what, but I would really like it if he would let me handle him. If it's not gonna happen, ok, but I'd like to hear input before making a decision. I try to get him to associate coming out of the enclosure with positive things.

Here's info on his set-up:
-36x18x18 repti-breeze
-Terra Blue mercury UVA/UVB heat bulb -12hrs/day - above, not touching, top of the enclosure so, he can't get burned
-Hygrotherm turns on heat emitter when needed - day time only
-Night temps didn't drop below 60 during colder months and this time of year, not below 65
-His enclosure temps: ~70 at very bottom, ~75 near the middle, ~82 at the VERY top (on the screen where he climbs)
-Mister goes off a few times during the day for 1-min intervals. He hates being sprayed, but the nozzle is aimed toward the center so he can easily get away and he definitely is getting used to it and knows he can't drink afterward. His stool looks healthy. Humidity is about 70-80% after misting, near 50-60% otherwise. I live in NJ and it's humid here.
-Dripper on cage also
-No substrate
-Was eating about 12 small crickets a day (his favorite), now about 15. -Sometimes I mix in dubias or phoenix worms (soldier fly larvae)
-Calcium powder on crickets every day, except Wednesdays. 1st and 3rd wed of each month I coat with calcium + D3. 2nd & 4th it's multi-vitamin.
-Once a month -Vit A
-2 windows on either side of the enclosure with natural sunlight coming in, no drafts.

I will post a video below.

Any suggestions or insight would be appreciated. Is he in an age range where we can work through this behavior or is it just a done deal?
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