Panther Chameleon Husbandry
Before explaining some of the specific husbandry parameters for the panther chameleon, it is important to understand the concept of stress as it applies to chameleons. Stress is generally defined as any condition in the animal’s environment capable of negatively affecting the health of the animal.
In panther chameleons, certain stress factors occur naturally. These would be things such as predation, territorial disputes with other chameleons, drought and other weather extremes, the rigors of reproduction on females, and parasites, to name a few. Captive chameleons face a host of less-than-optimal conditions that they would not face in the wild, and which may contribute to their early demise. Some of these would be overcrowding and proximity to other chameleons, especially male-to-male contact, substandard cage size, poor lighting, improper thermal gradients, deficient nutrition, over-breeding in females, inadequate hydration, and excessive handling. Optimal conditions would be those that best mimic the natural environment while eliminating the naturally occurring stress factors.
We know that panther chameleons can survive and prosper in captivity in less than optimal conditions. But there is no line drawn, above which you are guaranteed success, and below which you are doomed to failure. What is certain is that the more you are able to minimize stress factors, and approach optimal conditions in your chameleon husbandry, the more likely you are to have a healthy and long-lived pet. The following guidelines accommodate what the authors feel are acceptable, if not minimal, levels of stress.
Included as a link to the husbandry page will be a Discussions/Q&A page which will develop over time. It is here as an acknowledgement that there is so much we don’t know, and also recognizing that there is more than one way to achieve good results.
Q & A (Coming Soon)
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