Rescued a panther chameleon, help please?

ihaveapanther

New Member
Hi everyone, I'm really new to reptile care, though I think I'm doing a good job of it at the moment though. I was walking home from the grocery store visiting family in Florida and my friend spotted a strange looking alien like creature in a tree. That creature basically jumped on me and kept following us until I felt sorry for it and decided I'd take it home since it didn't look native to Florida like your basic anole, cuban knight anole or even the occasional iguana that appears. I had a feeling it was someone's pet and they left him to die outside. I was hesitant to take him with me since I'm moving to California but I couldn't just leave him, I didn't have the heart and with those bright colors and friendly domesticated demeanor I figured he'd be hunted in NO time around here.

I thought it was a chameleon and I googled chameleon species and it seems to be a panther chameleon maybe a male based on the color. I keep him on my screened porch, I've built him an umbrella tree space on a deck chair that he seems to love. He roams around occasionally and relives himself at the other side of the porch, too cute, it's so funny. But he has a lot of safe space to himself. I also bought terrible bugs to feed him, disgusting super worms and crickets though he seems to prefer the worms a lot more. I have no idea what his age might be or anything else. He also doesn't like to eat much, only 3-4 worms a day, except for the day after I brought him home, he ate 5 worms. He is also extremely friendly and loves to be handled except sometimes when he does this sneezing like thing when he's comfortable and I pick him up. I'm going to guess that would be him getting annoyed? Also the very end tip of his tail seems to be broken or something, it is always bent, I'm guessing its from a mishap when he was abandoned or escaped. I wonder if it hurts him but he doesn't seem bothered. You can see it in the first picture I've attached.

I also have to take him with me to California since I've made the effort to save him already and don't trust selling him or giving him away, he seems to be quite attached to me strangely, he doesn't like climbing on anyone else, he always runs right back to me. I can be a Snow White with animals but this is so unexpected for a chameleon isn't it? Does anyone have any advice on shipping him to Cali and anything that I should be doing to care for him? Florida is naturally hot and very humid this time of year and since my porch is screened it is quite nice out there for him and he seems quite happy! There are certain times of day he is happier to be handled then others and seems to get somewhat saddened when I DON'T handle him at all, I see he turns a darker color? Unless that's to blend with the branch? When he sees me he returns to his usual bright coloring. I didn't really want a pet but what are you gonna do? I love lizards and I couldn't just let him die. He's too cute and has quite the little personality. Any advice or any information would be greatly appreciated! Also if you have any idea on age? He's quite clumsy so I thought him to be young. Unless that means the opposite. He has to be older than 6 months according to coloration from what I've researched?
 

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carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
hello and thank you for saving the cute little fellow! You have a male Ambilobe panther chameleon. I would say he is about a year or more. He looks to be in decent shape except for the front of his mouth. Is he able to close it at all?. Being outside is good for him with our humidity, although be careful to check for overheating(they will keep their mouth open to thermoregulate). He needs uvb lighting of some sort, either artificial or from the sun. He would not need a basking light if you are keeping him outside on the patio as it is very hot right now in Florida(I live in South fla). How are you providing water for him at the moment?
 

ihaveapanther

New Member
hello and thank you for saving the cute little fellow! You have a male Ambilobe panther chameleon. I would say he is about a year or more. He looks to be in decent shape except for the front of his mouth. Is he able to close it at all?. Being outside is good for him with our humidity, although be careful to check for overheating(they will keep their mouth open to thermoregulate). He needs uvb lighting of some sort, either artificial or from the sun. He would not need a basking light if you are keeping him outside on the patio as it is very hot right now in Florida(I live in South fla). How are you providing water for him at the moment?

It broke my heart, I had to take him. Especially when he followed me. It was too much. So cute. He closes his mouth but he does keep it open very often, he makes the cutest little faces. He gets a lot of sun all day and sometimes I put him in the bush outside for a bit and watch him so he doesn't get bored on the chair, maybe do some hunting and wild animal things. I really hate to see animals bored and I'm so against it but like I said, what am I going to do. I'm in the Margate area of South FL. I spray the leaves multiple times a day, I saw he wasn't drinking from the dish the first day I had him and worried he'd dehydrate so I researched that and bought a spray bottle immediately. In California I'll probably need to purchase the lights and a screened habit for him. I'll probably stick to the umbrella tree idea, he loves it. I also don't know how I'm going to get him to California, it's really bothering me.
 

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ihaveapanther

New Member
Also if there is anyone in the South Florida area that could provide a better life for him please don't hesitate to ask. This was really unexpected for me and I want the best for this little guy.
 

tdismang

New Member
God bless you for crossing paths with this fortunate creature; I should say that you are both blessed. You've done pretty good by him being as impromptu as his arrival was. Sounds like it was meant to be ;)
But if you feel like you aren't equipped to properly care for him, I'm sure someone on this forum can help you out. You two were meant to find each other, if only your lives together are brief. I promise you though, you will never forget him :) <3
 

TreeTopChameleons

New Member
If I could give a quick suggestion, if you decide to rehome your rescued chameleon, I would recommend charging a fee for it. This will weed out a good majority of the people who are just looking for a free pet. I would say a nice male ambi like that would sell for 225-300 bucks depending on where it came from. So maybe asking for $100 would be a good idea. Just a though..and yes I am aware that asking for some money does not mean the level of care would be any higher, but in my opinion, if you cannot afford to purchase a chameleon, you likely cannot afford the cost of raising/housing one.
 

ihaveapanther

New Member
God bless you for crossing paths with this fortunate creature; I should say that you are both blessed. You've done pretty good by him being as impromptu as his arrival was. Sounds like it was meant to be ;)
But if you feel like you aren't equipped to properly care for him, I'm sure someone on this forum can help you out. You two were meant to find each other, if only your lives together are brief. I promise you though, you will never forget him :) <3

Aww thank you.
 

ihaveapanther

New Member
If I could give a quick suggestion, if you decide to rehome your rescued chameleon, I would recommend charging a fee for it. This will weed out a good majority of the people who are just looking for a free pet. I would say a nice male ambi like that would sell for 225-300 bucks depending on where it came from. So maybe asking for $100 would be a good idea. Just a though..and yes I am aware that asking for some money does not mean the level of care would be any higher, but in my opinion, if you cannot afford to purchase a chameleon, you likely cannot afford the cost of raising/housing one.

Yeah I feel bad putting a price on his head but that's definitely something I'm going to consider because I want the best for him.
 

lancaster0861

New Member
He kept following you home? Chameleons are possibly one one the slowest moving animals around? Was he like chasing behind you on the flat concrete? Ive seen em move pretty quick but not to fast lol. Also when he turns brighter when he sees you, that is probably a sign of him being surprised by your presence or even him stressing. Chameleons not only turn dark from stress but can also turn really bright, especially panthers. This is where the term "fired up" comes from on here. You did get an awesome find no doubt about that though! If you really like him and and feel comfortable with the research of his needs and all then i say go for it! If you are into lizards the least bit you will be more pleased than you can imagine with him!
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I don't usually interfere with something like this but something doesn't sit right with me about asking an adoption fee for an animal that isn't mine and that might be someone's lost pet. If forum members are interested in adopting him it shouldn't be hard to see which ones are capable of being great owners, as evidenced by photos of their current set-ups, their current animals, and their forum history. If you're selling him on Craigslist, sure, but here you can do a full background check on someone based on their post history.

And I'd still put up a Found ad somewhere, with all the storms and tornadoes we've had lately down here I wouldn't be surprised if his cage toppled over. Panthers aren't generally reptiles that anyone sets free on purpose.
 

ihaveapanther

New Member
I don't usually interfere with something like this but something doesn't sit right with me about asking an adoption fee for an animal that isn't mine and that might be someone's lost pet. If forum members are interested in adopting him it shouldn't be hard to see which ones are capable of being great owners, as evidenced by photos of their current set-ups, their current animals, and their forum history. If you're selling him on Craigslist, sure, but here you can do a full background check on someone based on their post history.

And I'd still put up a Found ad somewhere, with all the storms and tornadoes we've had lately down here I wouldn't be surprised if his cage toppled over. Panthers aren't generally reptiles that anyone sets free on purpose.

Hey honestly I'm just trying to find the best solution for this animal, I don't care about the money, someone just suggested it in order to weed out the people who can't care for him properly. There haven't been any tornadoes or serious storms where I am in Florida. But thanks for your concern. I'm trying my best and I don't appreciate negativity. I haven't seen any lost and found ads for him locally or on craigslist and I'm getting quite "fired up" at someone thinking I am trying to cash in on an animal in need. Thanks for your opinion but no thanks.
 

ihaveapanther

New Member
He kept following you home? Chameleons are possibly one one the slowest moving animals around? Was he like chasing behind you on the flat concrete? Ive seen em move pretty quick but not to fast lol. Also when he turns brighter when he sees you, that is probably a sign of him being surprised by your presence or even him stressing. Chameleons not only turn dark from stress but can also turn really bright, especially panthers. This is where the term "fired up" comes from on here. You did get an awesome find no doubt about that though! If you really like him and and feel comfortable with the research of his needs and all then i say go for it! If you are into lizards the least bit you will be more pleased than you can imagine with him!

He was slowly following us, we were drunk carrying giant cases of beer haha so we weren't any faster then him.

Thank you everyone I've found a solution I am giving him to professional reputable people here in South Florida who have agreed to care for him and his health needs and all. Thank you for everyone's time and support.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I'm not being negative, I'm just saying that the benefit of adopting out on a forum is that you get a look at their history. They aren't full strangers, you can see how they care for their current pets just by looking through past posts.

I'm the mod that moved your ad into classifieds instead of just deleting it, since Jr. members can't have classified ads because I want you to find him a good home. I was just giving you a screening idea, since you said you hated having to put a price on his head.

Edit - Glad you found someone to take him.
 

ihaveapanther

New Member
I'm not being negative, I'm just saying that the benefit of adopting out on a forum is that you get a look at their history. They aren't full strangers, you can see how they care for their current pets just by looking through past posts.

I'm the mod that moved your ad into classifieds instead of just deleting it, since Jr. members can't have classified ads because I want you to find him a good home. I was just giving you a screening idea, since you said you hated having to put a price on his head.

Edit - Glad you found someone to take him.

Sorry for the misunderstanding, I edited that rehoming post to show he has a good home to go to just now so if you'd like to delete it that works! Thank you though for your time and effort, I appreciate it, I just didn't want him to die or be put into another bad situation. I've just heard a lot of stories about people in Florida buying iguanas and then when they got too large dumping them outside, or snow birds buying pets for their kin and then dumping those off into trees also. It's like people just get pets down here and figure "Oh hey, it's a jungle outside anyway, just stick it there." And then don't care. I don't have the heart for that. I'm not accusing anyone but that would be the most likely scenario in this case since no-one seems to be looking for him.
 
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