Introductions and Questions

EyeCandy

New Member
Hi, I'm brand new to owning Chameleons and this forum (I searched but didn't see anything that specifically answered my situation). Loved these guys for a couple years now, and actually ended up getting my first Ambilobe Panther Chameleon on Valentines Day, at a Petco of all places.

I like that he is a captive bred sub adult, and is already well established. I figured that this would be a great starter Chameleon for me. Since it's only been nine days, I've mostly left him alone. I feed him in the morning and he has now begun to take food from the tongs.

My question is how do I handle him? Not handling for the sake of handling, but more so I can effectively clean, and rearrange the cage when I need to. I've watched videos that have said to always approach from the front, be calm, slow, and slip your hand under to support.

However, Monet puffs, gapes, and sometimes hisses whenever my hand gets too close (believe me, I'm not being pushy!). Right now during morning feeding I will for short periods slowly put my hand near him and stay still, when he doesn't react badly, I take my hand out and leave him alone, letting him be "okay" with me. He is very weary of me, but doesn't mind being fed. As I've said, I know these aren't touchy feel-y sort of reptiles, but it's mandatory that I know how to handle him when need be.

He was fine with me when I was checking him over in the store the day I purchased him, and he was being handled consistently by employees. No issues of aggression or stress. Just roaming:



Monet on the first day home:



Any suggestions? How do I tackle this issue? Also, any guesstimate ages judging by his pics? They had him in for almost 2 months prior to me purchasing him, within that time frame, I was told he gained 1 inch on his size.

Also, would you consider him a blue bar Ambilobe?
He's already gone through a shed, since he's been here, and has been displaying some beautiful colors already. Mind you, he's colorful everyday, so I haven't really seen any signs that he's unhappy in his setup. I really find him amazing, and I'm a very happy new owner.

Thanks in advance for all the help I can get!
 

Julirs

New Member
Hello and welcome to the forums. One good thing as a new owner to do is check your husbandry. If you fill out this form we will be happy to make any suggestions to ensure you new little guy is happy in his new home. As for handling, it sounds like he has established his new cage as his territory. Once you get them out of the cage they are almost always OK. I know it is intimidiating when they are huffing and lunging, and you may want to invest in a leather gardening glove, but as you said approaching from the front, and maybe even herding him from the back will coax him to climb onto your hand.

Pictures of the entire setup would be great. He looks very good actually for a Petstore purchase. And yes, looks like an Ambiliobe. I would get a fecal done ASAP just to make sure he is parasite free.

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?
 

jpm995

Member
Sounds like he's adjusted to his surroundings and is defending his turf. In the store they dont get to establish territories so their meek and too afraid to resist handleing. It's probably a good sign he is settled in. I think you should ignore the bluster and reach in anyway, he'll eventually tolerate it. Kind of reach in around his feet and try to get him to stumble onto your hand. Some use sticks to fool them. Their bite isen't too bad and remember he views you as a possible predator and is way more afraid of you than you him. Its mostly a show to scare you off.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Welcome to the forums! You've got a beautiful cham there! As Julir said, it would be great to get an idea of your husbandry setup now when it will be easy to make improvements rather than later if they become problems. Everyone with chameleons starts off with something to change or add.

As for handling, sounds like he has established his territory and feels comfortable in his cage. Like jpm said, at the store they usually don't feel safe so they are more tolerant. I would start by not forcing the issue, which it sounds like you aren't, and just spend time near the cage so he gets used to you being around. I think hand feeding helps too. Hold worms or crickets for him to eat so he associates you with good things, like food, not as the scary predator.

If he eventually tolerates you being close to the cage without being concerned then you can try to just touch his feet a few times and go away. After he gets used to you touching his feet and isn't concerned by it you can try to get him to grab your finger with one foot. Eventually you may progress to him not minding you enough to crawl on your hand. It's the method I tried with my other chams (besides my devil veiled) and it's a very slow process which may or may not work. My panther is "friendly" and my jackson tolerates me. But if you want to try that's kind of what you'll have to do. But if it's too stressful and he never really gets used to being touched then you may just have a cage ornament like most other chams.
 
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