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Posted by Bill_Strand on April 21, 2003 at 01:50:30:
In Reply to: Stupid question about outdoor enclosures posted by LizKing on April 20, 2003 at 17:55:39:
Keeping your panther outside is the best thing you can do for it as long as the cage is setup to allow him to choose between full sun, partial sun, and full, dark shade. 50 degrees is kind of low for a panther, but how he takes it depends on how high the temperature gets during the day and how long the cold lasts. One or two nights of it won't harm him as long as he has been outside for a while and the change is not sudden. You wouldn't want to put him out in 50 degrees his first night out. But if he does not get to warm up in bright warm sun during the day you best just bring him in during the cold snap. I have done it this way in southern California. Yes, it is stressful on them when you bring them in, but the benefit of being outdoors outweighs the stress they get. If you really think you will get down to 50 degree weather then start a thread on that and I will be happy to go into more detail on my experiences with panthers and cold weather. It is one of those things that is not good for them, but they can survive it. (To make it clear: I am NOT recommending 50 weather for panthers!!!!!)
Putting a heater or such outdoors would be fine as long as you made sure it was done so there was no fire hazard. But if it is cold only for a day or two it would probably be easier to bring the guy in for those two days instead of going through all the trouble of wiring things outside and worrying about a fire and chameleon burn hazard.
By the way, you will do wonders for your microenvironments inside that cage if you are able to build it over bare earth. That gives you a real cool/humid area at the bottom of the cage for the other end of your temperature gradient. Full sun to cool shade gives your chameleon any temperature he could want during the day.
Any chance you could make the cage 6 or even 7 feet high? In my experience, just that little difference in height makes a real difference in the chameleon's feeling of security (I assume you will be walking around the cage occasionally). I have tried 4 feet high, 6 feet high and 7 feet high for male panthers and the difference in the chameleon's demeaner was noticeable. They seem so much calmer when they look down on you.
:First off, I keep a male panther chameleon (ambanja) and am in the process of building an outdoor enclosure with the warm season approaching and all. Its going to be 4'long, 5.5'tall, and 2.5' deep. When I read about outdoor enclosures here it seems most people only use otdoor setups for daytime sunning, probably because they are in colder climates and can't leave their warm loving chams outdoors overnight. I live in GA, just outside ATL, and I think our summertime temps at night are acceptable for a panther. If for some reason we had a night or two in the 50's during summer(ya know, if hell freezes over) I would have a ceramic heat emitter with a thermostat setup for an emergancy drop in temp. Is this a bad idea to try and keep my cham outside 4-6 months out of the year? Are there other concerns in doing this? It just seems it would be really stressful for a cham to be moved outside and then back inside day after day.
:All thoughts or opinions are welcome?