Grumpy yemen chameleon

Soooo first post here....

This is about my second yemen chameleon. Jellal is about 6 months old, and he's adorably greedy but also extremely grumpy

He hasn't really liked anyone since day one (had him for 4 months). He goes dark if I walk past his vivarium, and may hiss at me.

So to try and bond with him I've avoided full contact and just tried to get him used to me, like putting my hand in the vivarium to show Jellal I'm not a threat.

I normally do this after I've fed him, but now he seems to think my hands are food! He'll try to eat my hands/fingers (using his tongue), or bite my thumb if I move my hand away when I do this.

So due to this I've avoided physically handling him as much as possible. But I want to bond with Jellal and also need to be able to take him out of his vivarium to clean it and take him to the vets (for check ups).

If you have any advice for what I should do please help me out! Thanks


Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome! Veileds are notoriously grumpy...with that being said typically chameleons “tolerate” vs “bond” they see you as a tree they want to climb or food in your case lol.
Sitting outside the viv for long periods of time will get him use to you. You can even sit there with the door open. You can try taking him outside for some real sunshine. He may start to associate you with going out and he may be more willing to come to you and not just see your hands as food lol.
If you have issues with biting use a stick he can climb on to and take him out that way. Here is a great blog about trust building
Just curious, when he gets dark in color, is he out in the open or hiding? Does he have enough foliage to hide in? Also, is he in a high traffic area?
Thanks for your advice!
His vivarium is at the end of my bed, so I do sit facing him quite often. As its my room there's no one else really going in there. He will go dark both in and outside of cover, and he has artificial plants throughout the vivarium.
I'll try reading the post and see what happens - also a stick is such a good idea!!!


Chameleon Enthusiast
My veiled girl loves silkworms and it’s the only feeder I’ll hold on my hand, so I hand feed her one or two of those a day and then hold her feeding cup with the rest of her meal. She’s still hissing at me but no longer trying to bite. Good luck!


Chameleon Enthusiast
Worse case scenario, if you are unable to build trust and get your veiled to tolerate handling, leather gloves are life savers. My veiled is highly territorial and defensive so anytime I need to remove him from his enclosure I'll wear gloves to protect my hands from his teeth. I only handle him like this if I cant get him to walk out onto a stick first.
Ok, so its been a while but I have good news! Jellal finally has warmed up to me, thank you all so much!!!
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