Acquiring a pet is a great responsibility that you must be willing to assume if you want to obtain one of these precious repeats. I am talking about the veiled chameleon, which is a very accessible pet, easy to obtain and also cheap, however it is not so easy to care if you are not prepared. This post aims to warn you that if you want to acquire one of these animals, you must first inform yourself thoroughly about the temperament and the care that the animal requires. If one day you get tired of it, releasing it into the wild could not only put the animal in serious trouble but also you and the local wildlife.
The veiled chameleon is a species from both Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It is an arboreal reptile and its natural habitat is usually the mountains; however, this incredible reptile stands out for its great resistance and ability to withstand extreme conditions such as droughts, although its perfect ambient temperature ranges between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. The veiled chameleon usually lives from 3 to 5 years in the case of females, and around 6 years in the case of males. In addition, this species of chameleon is also noted for its temperament, aggressiveness, and territorialism, which is why acquiring a specimen of this species represents a commitment of several years with a creature that would not hesitate to bite your finger if it feels invaded. Thanks to its resistance to extreme conditions, the veiled chameleon may be able to adapt and survive if released into the wild. However, this is not good news for everyone.
Chameleons has been declared an invasive pest in states such as Hawaii and Florida, where climatic conditions are ideal for the survival and reproduction of the reptile, unfortunately, invasive species threaten local species and pose a risk to the balance of the ecosystem. Released reptiles are also at risk. Some residents of these states have made the decision to go out at night armed with flashlights to look for chameleons, they call themselves “herpers”. In the best of cases, the chameleons found are adopted by themselves or put up for adoption for someone else, but other less well-intentioned people reproduce them for sale which generates even more abandonment of invasive pets; in the worst-case scenario, the chameleons are killed. It is not illegal to kill an invasive species found on your property, however, it is illegal to collect an invasive specimen and then release it again. In Arizona, it is also illegal to release exotic animals into the wild, so if you are going to adopt, prepare well and save yourself some trouble.
References: DALY, N. (2017, June 30). The Illegal and Secretive World of Chameleon Ranching. Https://Www.Nationalgeographic.Com. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/chameleons-ranching-florida-invasives-pets