Beaker is a Panther Chameleon (more specifically his 'locale' is a Masoala Panther Chameleon). He came to me second hand from a busy, friendly home because he was too much work to look after. I'm not sure if this has contributed to his friendly nature, or whether he is so laid back that it suited him anyway, but he is an unusual chameleon. Male Panthers are known for their tolerance of people and gentle natures but he really is one of a kind personality-wise. They are a very tricky animal to own, with complex needs. Luckily he was a healthy animal who had been very well cared for. After getting to know him (and hundreds of hours researching from experts) I can now say I have lots more confidence. The hardest thing has been learning to 'speak' chameleon. Extremely subtle changes in colour, body posture and behaviour tell me what he's feeling. And yes, they are very emotional...he can be scared, angry, happy, frustrated, contented or sulky. The fabulous thing about him though is that he is often asks to come out of his cage. This usually involves lots of patience and training with treats with other chameleons...but Beaker just wants to climb up your shoulder. He has various perches around the house, and is allowed in the bay tree in the garden (under strict supervision). He likes meeting new people especially children, and is quick to abandon his boring owner and climb up exciting new humans. I have had friends who (gasp... don't even like reptiles) coo and fuss over him for hours. He's certainly a charmer.
He has some amazing features, almost too many to count! He can change colour, swivel his googly eyes all around, hang upside down with his prehensile tail, shoot his long tongue out to catch his prey, grip with his strange fused toes and has a third eye on top of his head...
R.I.P Rango...we all miss you.
Many of you will have known Rango who I had for many years, but sadly passed away last year. They usually live until about 6 years, but he was 9 years so he had a good innings. He was such a colourful chameleon (an Ambilobe). There are about 14 'locales' of chameleon in Madagascar. Beaker isn't as colourful but I love all his shades of blue, he's so beautiful.