How to Care for a Senegal Chameleon
The Senegal chameleon is one of the cutest types of lizards available today. They are usually a light green color and have long tails that coil in a circle. They have hands and feet that can grasp onto small branches and thick upper bodies that make them look a bit chubby. They also have big eyes and a long tongue that catches their prey.
The Senegal chameleon can reach up to seven inches long. With the proper care and feeding they can be kept as pets and they can live up to five years. But there are a few things to consider if you want to keep a Senegal chameleon as a pet.
Before you buy a chameleon you have to make its habitat or cage as close to its natural habitat as possible. Most people think that these types of animals need an aquarium for a cage. This is not a good idea because the chameleon needs fresh air circulating throughout the cage. It is better to use a mesh type enclosure to house the lizard. The mesh should be big enough to let air through but make sure the chameleon itself is unable to wedge itself in the mesh or escape. The meshed enclosure should be approximately three feet high and a foot to a foot and a half wide. You can also assemble a covering for the cage from the mesh but make sure it has a snap down covering so that the chameleon cannot escape.
You can place twigs and small branches inside the cage to mimic the habitat of the chameleon. They love to crawl up on and grip these plants. This is a good way for the lizard to get essential exercise and to be comfortable with in its cage. You can also use plants that can help with humidity levels like moss but you do not only have to use live plants. You can also use any plastic plants to cover the cages bottom.
Use a heat lamp or specialized chameleon light to keep the cage at a constant temperature. The cage must always be set at seventy five to one hundred degrees. Although the Senegal chameleon can handle temperatures below seventy five degrees any high or low temperature fluctuation can make the lizard go into shock. It can also cause it to change color and do damage to the skin. So the temperature must be consistent.
This type of chameleon will not drink water from a dish or bowl. If you do have a bowl of water inside the cage the animal will only walk through it making a huge mess. In the wild they get drinks from dew that accumulates on bigger leaves. So you will have to also purchase a mister for the chameleon. These mister’s are sold in any pet store and they can also be set to go off throughout the day. This method insures that the chameleon never dehydrates. Because of the heat lamp and warm conditions this can be easy to do. This is perhaps the most important tip when it comes to chameleons. They always need water.
Chameleons need to be fed insects twice a day. Crickets and moths are perfect for feedings but you can also purchase a special feed just for them at any pet store. Resist the urge to over feed them and giving them a day of fasting every week, can be beneficial to their health.
When you purchase your Senegal chameleon you should immediately find a veterinarian that specializes in these creatures. When captured in the wild they have many parasites that can be passed on to other chameleons. If you do not take care of these parasites the life span of this animal will be significantly shortened.