Veiled Cham is absolutely terrified of me, falls when he sees me

rogue606

Member
So I've had Chip for about 2.5 months now. He's about a year old. Not my first chameleon so I'd like to think I know what I'm doing.
Unlike my panther who was always sweet and wanted to come out of the cage, this guy is a total nutcase.
I got him at a reptile expo in early June. The first 2 days he seemed fine climbing all over me like a ninja whenever I let him out of his temporary medium cage while I spent an entire day redoing his big cage. Then I let him settle into his new xlarge cage. He's very healthy and is getting huge and eats a ton and moves like a demon. But since those first 2 days I've never been able to get him back out of the cage to do a really deep clean. I'm not one of those people that push it, I understand he's scared and I don't want to cause him any stress. I don't need to touch him other than to clean the cage. But now we're at the point that almost every single morning, I'll walk into his room and he'll be chilling up under his heat lamp and he sees me and gets so freaked out that he tries to run back in his cage so quick that he literally falls to the bottom of it. He's crazy fast and runs back up to the top in about 5 seconds and I doubt he's getting hurt since the bottom of my cage is screen with nothing hard immediately under it. But this can't be good. I need to open his cage every day to give him food. I'll have to take a video tomorrow of the inevitable fall tomorrow. Here are some pics of him. This was day 1-3 and after that I was never able to touch him again. He's tried biting me several times so I gave up. Very frustrating.

Has anyone else experienced this?
 

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KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I've had Chip for about 2.5 months now. He's about a year old. Not my first chameleon so I'd like to think I know what I'm doing.
Unlike my panther who was always sweet and wanted to come out of the cage, this guy is a total nutcase.
I got him at a reptile expo in early June. The first 2 days he seemed fine climbing all over me like a ninja whenever I let him out of his temporary medium cage while I spent an entire day redoing his big cage. Then I let him settle into his new xlarge cage. He's very healthy and is getting huge and eats a ton and moves like a demon. But since those first 2 days I've never been able to get him back out of the cage to do a really deep clean. I'm not one of those people that push it, I understand he's scared and I don't want to cause him any stress. I don't need to touch him other than to clean the cage. But now we're at the point that almost every single morning, I'll walk into his room and he'll be chilling up under his heat lamp and he sees me and gets so freaked out that he tries to run back in his cage so quick that he literally falls to the bottom of it. He's crazy fast and runs back up to the top in about 5 seconds and I doubt he's getting hurt since the bottom of my cage is screen with nothing hard immediately under it. But this can't be good. I need to open his cage every day to give him food. I'll have to take a video tomorrow of the inevitable fall tomorrow. Here are some pics of him. This was day 1-3 and after that I was never able to touch him again. He's tried biting me several times so I gave up. Very frustrating.

Has anyone else experienced this?
Quite common with these feisty tree dragons. Funny enough, whats probably happened is giving him the bigger cage made him "happier". When Vieleds like their enclosure they get protective. So hes probably running to the back to get ready to defend it. The lack of letting you touch him means hes more defensive of his territory, which is actually a good thing. Now the falling is a problem, im not an expert on vieleds, im a panther keeper myself, and as you know they seem to be more docile, but healthy chameleons shouldnt be falling.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
A video would be great. I wouldn’t be too worried about the falls, this is a survival tactic. Now if he starts getting shaky or lethargic then the falls would be of more concern.

Your going to have to slow down. When you walk into the room go half speed so your sudden appearance isn’t as threatening. Remember he views you as a predator.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think someone needs a "pet tree" setup for now. Set it up so you cant even find the cham, all you see is a bush in a cage. That is how some of us start off wild caughts. Keep the basking light in the front of the cage twards the middle at an angle.
 

Ramrod

Avid Member
GRAVES 923 has a perfect description of my veiled. Very protective of thier environment and don't want to put up with any nonsense from the human kind. I have had this one for 6 months and now able to hand feed after he puts on an initial defensive show but not yet to be handled.
 
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