I have kept and raised many exotic pets over the years. From fish to frogs, feathers to scales. Of all these fantastic creatures, it was the pet chameleon that most captured my inspiration and imagination. The first time you see one you know it is something special. Did you know chameleons have been around since the dinosaurs? There is truly something special about these animals. They offer the beauty and tranquility of a vibrant aquarium and the exoticness of, well a small dragon. This coupled with a personality that is nothing less than captivating.
It was somewhere around my 10th birthday that my mom got me a Jackson’s chameleon. Well, in those days, information was in short supply, and even less the appropriate equipment. Sadly, as a result, he did not live long. My love of chameleons had been established, though I now both desired a chameleon and was afraid to own one at the same time. In the process, I did learn the complex needs of a pet chameleon. I did not pursue my love of chameleons for many years, instead choosing to stay with the more familiar snakes and lizards, which did not have such demanding needs. Years later, as technology and knowledge have vastly improved, caring for these special creatures had become more accessible. I decided it was time to try chameleons again. From the very first day they came home I was captivated. As I combed through sites and papers it became clear that, even with all the new knowledge and technology, many myths and incorrect information were still being passed around. As my knowledge and love of chameleons grew I wanted to offer more and help to bring the proper care to these animals. As Petr would say. Right, Simple, Safe
I have always been fascinated by the wingless mini-dragons that seem to have been perfectly created for domestication, a small, slow, nonpoisonous, shoulder perching bug killer. Growing up in Hawaii, I’d only been familiar with the Jackson’s chameleon (Trioceros Jacksonii Xanthalophus). As a child I had only seen them sold in certain specialty pet shops. I would stand near the cage in amazement at their crazy bulbous eyes looking in different directions, and their spiral tail that resembled a swirl lollipop.
Over the years I have had several experiences with keeping chameleons, many ending in tragedy and heartbreak. With my failures came growth of knowledge that I am blessed to pass on. Having made nearly every mistake, I can speak from experience as to the importance of proper care and husbandry of these precious creatures. Though I deeply regret my past negligence, I am grateful for the opportunity to share this with others and prevent anyone from having the same painful experiences it took me to get to where I am now.
Through the many long hours of research it became apparent that there is a need for more all encompassing, thorough, and comprehensive websites that are accessible, relatable, and well connected. I found great resources through Bill Strand at the Chameleon Academy, Petr Necas on YouTube, and the Chameleon Forums. The information gained from these wonderful people has been invaluable. I feel like I’ve finally found a community I want to be a part of and a purpose to support fellow chameleon keepers in every way I can. It is my privilege and honor to be working with CaskAbove, supported by the experts I admire, and creating something that will help chameleons and chameleon keepers all over the world.
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