Tongue Hit Finger by Mistake

Dabugman

New Member
I have been handfeeding a worm or two every couple of days, just because it is fun and I hope it helps build trust with and socialize my 5 month panther, Mr. Smokey.

I was holding a small hornworm for him this morning (he LOVES hornworms!) and he just missed and got my finger instead. The tougue stuck to the end of my finger and wouldn't let go! He slowly walked up to me, and eventually the tounge let go and then he bit me (kind of like a "don't do that again you jerk!" statement--it didn't hurt and I sure don't blame him!) He's OK--shooting lots of prey accurately after the episode, and just to "get back up on the horse again" I hand fed him a couple more worms without incident.

Does this happen from time to time for you handfeeders?
 

hallenhe

Avid Member
Those tongues are remarkably sticky. My current panther is much, much readier to take his superworms from my hand than from a cup or dish, and sometimes he misses and gets me. They can actually damage their tongue if they can't disengage it properly, so when I'm shot I'll let him "reel me in" and bite. I don't think it's usually an aggressive bite; when they're feeding normally, I think the bite helps them grab the food and pull the tongue away gently. Of course, being a chameleon, he usually holds my finger for a moment before he decides that something's gone awry and lets go.
 

Takara

New Member
my male has a tongue issue, and he did the same to me, the bite was more of a "wait this isn't a bug?"
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Yeah it happens from time to time with mine. If possible try to let it happen though because they can injure their tongues pulling too hard. Super sticky though isn't it?!
 

sarah777

New Member
I hate it when that happens! My chams tongues usually stick for only a second or two and then they're able to let go. Such a creepy feeling!
 

Dabugman

New Member
Good advise about letting him reel me in to him--I should have done that instead of having him walk up to me and reel himself to me.
 

pssh

Avid Member
Haha, my boyfriend had that happen when my 'friendly' panther was hand feeding from him. He was very surprised because the lizard has never bit anyone (except this one time when I was trying to get him to bite me. I had to bug him a lot to even get him to open his mouth, then when I stuck my finger between his jaws he just gently closed his mouth on my finger and sat there with it in his mouth. Then I poked him some more and he bit a little. :))

Whatever you do, DON'T PULL BACK! Try to move your hand towards the animal, or if you're super shocked, let the animal walk towards you.
 
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