I lost my Jackson’s trust


New Member
A few months back I had a fire in my building and picked her up to get her out. She never really forgave me. She used to take crickets off my hand, and now she just sits on a corner like she’s traumatized. Hardly drinks, hardly eats. Attempts at regular trust building are a no go, attempts at offering my hand or occasionally handling also did nothing. Do you guys have any suggestions?

I live in Hawaii So insect options are limited (the vet literally told me to build a compost pile and just put her on top of it and let her eat whatever). I think I may have found an option for some kinds of worms, though the breeder wasn’t ready yet. She’s been free range, and recently her enclosure is a built up terrace over a terrarium, and I’ve got the option to give her a free range vine but I’m a little wary bc she almost fell when I had it hooked up. She also might be pregnant? The vet wasn’t sure. It’s a mess. I could use help. I tried reddit, and that place was like unbelievable the kinds of advice I got and how contentious people were.


Avid Member
Some chameleons that are wild caught have gone thru some dramatic and somewhat violent capture before landing in the hands of a loving owner, and with much patience some can still form trust of humans so I wouldn’t say it’s hopeless but i wouldn’t rush her, especially if she’s gravid she will want solitude all the more. I try not to let my chameleon see me watching her and moving slowly helps too. Also avoid wearing reds and blacks around her. Which vet did you take her to? I heard good things about Feather and Fur in Kailua if you’re on Oahu.

Also, I let my chameleon have a couple houseflies as an occasional treat which really perks her interest and helped with a hunger strike. Hope this helps ☺️


Staff member
Most wild caught or community housed females are pregnant. Her poor appetite concerns me. I only feed my adult females a feeder or two per day but they would all eagerly eat more if allowed right up to a day or two before they deliver. I think there is more going on here than just some post trauma distrust. I had to treat one of mu girls daily for months but she has gotten over it and comes to me to hand feed.

If you want we can go over her husbandry and see if there is an underlying issue. A few questions:

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.


Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.


Avid Member
I agree with @JacksJill. If you can fill out the form we can better help. There could be a combination of different factors affecting her at the moment.

I wouldn't be too worried about the trust aspect. If you keep feeding her, then you will regain her trust. I built a relationship with my jacksons chameleon, but recently I had to give him an antibiotic shot every three days for two weeks (or more...can't remember duration). The first time I took him out of his enclosure for the shot, he was willing come out easy because he trusted me. But after the first shot, it became more difficult to get him out of his cage due to his lack of trust. It sucked and I was heartbroken. It has been about a month or two since his last injection, and now he trusts me again. He will run right over to me when I show him a dubia roach. And he no longer puffs up or runs away when I open the cage. So I am confident you can regain her trust.

I would definitely be more concerned about why she isn't eating. That is why filling out the form above is super helpful. This way we can help pinpoint where an issue might be.

I'm sorry, you had a bad experience on reddit. Hopefully you will have a much better experience on here.

I see I'm late to the party, any updates from the OP?
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