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Stressed out veiled chameleon


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Posted by iwana on April 23, 2003 at 12:39:27:

Hi everyone,

My husband and I have had our male veiled chameleon for two years now. He started out in a 20 gallon terrarium, and by the time he was 6 months old, we moved him into a much larger, home made wooden terrarium measuring 4 feet long, 2 feet high and 18" deep, lined with melamine paneling, branches and vines, with a glass front and two vents placed on opposite ends.

He immediately took to this new terrarium, because he was finding the old one rather cramped. As soon as we put him in, he was cruising all over the place, displaying his "happy colors" and has been a very happy chameleon ever since.

However, we recently got it into our minds to removate his home to optimize it somewhat. The white panels were starting to bubble and peel from the frequent mistings, so we covered the walls with a rubber carpeting, laminated the floor with a clear plastic, covered it with a layer of moss and installed an automated mister. The placement of the branches has not changed and he still has all the same vines and plants he had before.

We were sure he would *LOVE* these changes because now, he can climb on every surface of his terrarium, since he can climb the "carpeting" (basically, it's some sort of woven plastic with a rubber backing) as well as his vines and his branches.

Turns out, though, that he seems to be having a very hard time acclimating to all these changes. Basically, he is seemingly flipping out! He is almost constantly displaying his "stress colors" (blackish green), frequently hides behind his plants and scratches to get out. He has been in his renovated home since Saturday morning, which means it has been 5 days now.

Is this just normal acclimation or is there something seriously wrong with the enclosure? We can't imagine why he wouldn't enjoy the changes; everything around him is green. In his old home, he always stayed near his foliage so he could be "invisible". We thought maybe it was because he was seeing his reflection in the plexiglass, but at the same time, the reflection should in fact have been reduced by the darker background. When his home was all white, he seemed pretty happy in there.

Can you please take a look at the following pics and tell me if you see anything glaringly wrong and/or why Frasier (our veiled) would be so stressed out? Or do we merely need to give him more time to adjust?

Thanks!

Julie and Justin







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