Happier in the Wild?

Hi Everyone. I have a male Veiled Chameleon which is about 4- 5 months ols at the moment. I got him about 2 and a half months ago...I had noticed he was very aggresive and wary of people, he will immediately puff up and try to snap if I even get close to him ...no chance of me handling him!

I thought it was just till he gets used to his surroundings and his new home but unfortunately he has not changed ...as soon as I come into the room he will run off hiding and he shows all the traits a wild hunter would have . To sum it all up he does not look happy in captivity as he is always on edge ...I have tried hand feeding him which he never got used to also...I was thinking if I should let him free in the wild??I live in Malta with a Mediterranean climate .... we do have common chameleons in the wild in Malta.

Would appreciate your thoughts ...he just does not seem like a cham that should be in captivity ...just makes me sad to see him like that
 
I don`t mind it being mean ...although I would prefer a chameleon that can be handled, I understand that it`s a reptile . The problem is not it being mean, but him being unhappy!! it`s very clear to see :(
 

Djturna4thakidz

Established Member
Chameleons, in general, are not personable. They are shy and independent. I think another variety of pet would be better in the future. I think putting him up for re-homing is a much more responsible option than releasing him.
 
True that ...he will have no one to mate with...if he does they will not reproduce . I`m really torn here ...did not want this to happen. If I knew it was going to happen I would have not purchased him. It`s either 1.I keep him as he is (unhappy and on edge) 2. give him to someone who will have him in the same conditions which will stress him out even more ..3. release into the wild
 

KyleFitzz

New Member
He has not been in the wild at all correct? If so you're not only opening him up to being subject of prey, but also subject to more disease and allergens. He may be mean and all but I would suggest either giving him some more time to acclimate or put him up for a new home. My Jackson's chameleon is very shy and isn't the best to be handled but most chameleons are this way. They are much more for show and don't really care to be handled. But getting back to my Jackson's after a few months of acclimating and all he actually is getting used to me and my girlfriend. He seems to like her more for some reasons and I'm the one who does everything for him! Anyway stick it out and enjoy the beauty!
 
He has not been in the wild at all correct? If so you're not only opening him up to being subject of prey, but also subject to more disease and allergens. He may be mean and all but I would suggest either giving him some more time to acclimate or put him up for a new home. My Jackson's chameleon is very shy and isn't the best to be handled but most chameleons are this way. They are much more for show and don't really care to be handled. But getting back to my Jackson's after a few months of acclimating and all he actually is getting used to me and my girlfriend. He seems to like her more for some reasons and I'm the one who does everything for him! Anyway stick it out and enjoy the beauty!

You have got a point...I can`t enjoy the beauty because as soon as I enter the room he darts off to hide..and goes really dark with his head bowed down :(
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think you should try free ranging him if you have a safe room to set up a free range. Normally they are much calmer and happier not caged.
 

Psychobunny

Avid Member
"Happy" is relative, we are talking about a reptile here, if they have everything
they require, they will be content (happy).

Sometimes, Squee looks so depressed, it makes me want to cry to look at him in him cage.
That's why I let them out whenever possible, prefferably, out in the sunshine.

Noogie always looks perfectly content, nomatter what!!

The chams state of happy, or un-happy, I think is largely in our imaginations,
as long as it's not obviously sick.
If it has everything it needs, by nature, it's "happy" :D
 

mcanham

Member
To me releasing this animal into a non native habitat is irresponsible. The chances of it becoming an invasive species are almost impossible unless it is gravid (since its a male, not an option). There is a small chance they could introduce parasites or other microbes into the area. As a pet owner we take on a responsibility to care for an animal. They are not put on this planet to make us happy. So when we take on such a role I think we should do the best to give the animal the best life possible, and that would not be by releasing it. Give the guy some time, he may come around or he may not. He is not disposable and regardless of your distaste for his behavior it is up to you to care for him or find someone who will. Sorry for the rant, you seem like a good guy I'm sure you will do the right thing.
 

Niels Pedersen

Established Member
To me releasing this animal into a non native habitat is irresponsible. The chances of it becoming an invasive species are almost impossible unless it is gravid (since its a male, not an option). There is a small chance they could introduce parasites or other microbes into the area. As a pet owner we take on a responsibility to care for an animal. They are not put on this planet to make us happy. So when we take on such a role I think we should do the best to give the animal the best life possible, and that would not be by releasing it. Give the guy some time, he may come around or he may not. He is not disposable and regardless of your distaste for his behavior it is up to you to care for him or find someone who will. Sorry for the rant, you seem like a good guy I'm sure you will do the right thing.
I agree 100%
Invasive species is a BIG problem, also with chameleon. Just read the latest article about T. jacksonii in Hawaii!!

also, your chameleon is showing NATURAL Chameleo/ chameleon behaviour. Chameleons are shy animals and should be left alone.
 
To me releasing this animal into a non native habitat is irresponsible. The chances of it becoming an invasive species are almost impossible unless it is gravid (since its a male, not an option). There is a small chance they could introduce parasites or other microbes into the area. As a pet owner we take on a responsibility to care for an animal. They are not put on this planet to make us happy. So when we take on such a role I think we should do the best to give the animal the best life possible, and that would not be by releasing it. Give the guy some time, he may come around or he may not. He is not disposable and regardless of your distaste for his behavior it is up to you to care for him or find someone who will. Sorry for the rant, you seem like a good guy I'm sure you will do the right thing.
Thanks for the advice ...I agree one hundred per cent with what you stated about pets/animals not being put on earth to make us happy. I feel like this particular one was unlucky to be captive born and he can't control his inner wild instinct. This might be connected to the fact that he is the total opposite of my J Jackson's which is so chilled and comfortable with my presence.
I am going to take a lot of the members advice and give him some more time as I am not definitely ready to give him away to someone else. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread !
 

Ulrich

New Member
You could also try to remodel your enclosure. I personally never had problems with my Chams but they tend to be less receptive to human presence if the environmental setup is unfavorable to them. Maybe more foliage for the enclosure or more climbing opportunities etc. could help. You could post a picture of your enclosure if you don't mind.
 

AngieL

Avid Member
Some chameleons just don't like people. There are menbers who are very lucky and have friendly Chams. Jannb's chameleons are all friendly and happy so you could try what she does and free range. It may take him much longer to get used to you, I've had my girl over a year and she's still not find of me :) just give him time and space. Make sure he has places to hide and feel safe and just take it slow. I didn't ever handle my girl until I absolutely had to ( first vet visit ) and it wasn't fun. But now I can handle her and get her out to clean properly etc. they just need time if they are not the people loving type :)
 
you could try a bigger cage with lots of foliage to hide..screen cage preferred for air movment. would help him to feel secure and hidden and chams are best looked at..you want a cool pet to take out and hang around with you on walks get a iguana or a bearded dragon...savannah monitors are cool if you can settle them down. the look cool on a leach walking down the street with you.
 

Lizardguy1

Member
I have had a number of chameleons over the last 10 years, both wild-caught and captive bred, I have had captive born grow to be as aggressive as yours is, never acclimating to human presence, wild caught that became tame enough to hand feed and handle regularly, and every gradation in between. The variability in chameleon behavior is as broad as in human behavior. If you are not willing to meet his needs as an individual and accept that he may need a quiet undisturbed location with minimum human interaction then rehome him with a keeper who will accept him. DO NOT release him into the wild-
 
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