My Jacksons Chameleon Escaped (but I found him)

Earlier I got home after being gone for several hours. I looked in my chameleon cage and he was nowhere to he found. I searched for about 2 hours and actually took most of the plants and branches out and he was Nowhere to be found. Apparently I didn't secure the top latch and he was able to squeeze through the opening. So I started searching and I found him at the very top of a fake tree I have on the other side of the living room! Thankfully he was able to avoid my dog! So he had to have walked a good distance across the floor and made his way up to the tree. Anyway I am so relieved and plan to make sure I close the door all the way from now on. But I will start free ranging him a little once I clean all the dust off the tree, lol.
I'm embarrassed to admit this, but my Jackson's escaped from his cage twice more since I posted! Yesterday I caught him in the same tree as earlier and today I searched and searched and he was walking on the edge of my bed. Unreal. It turns out it wasn't the door he was wedging his way through. There is a hole near the bottom of the cage he had been crawling out of. I had no idea it was there. I bought my cage used and I guess this whole time that hole had been there and I didn't know. I have plugged the hole for the time being with a towel and will work on a more permanent fix.

But it amazes me how far this little guy can travel and explore. After this experience I really do want to set up some type of part time free range for him using my large artificial tree. Not a full time free range but just something to give him a break from his cage (if he'll stay put in the tree that is).


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With a tree free range setup, do most have a soft surface for the bottom in case they fall? I realize they're "live without a net" in the wild and although my own Jacksons is agile, I still worry about him falling when I take him out for some sun.
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