Wild Caught vs Captive Bred
If you are new to the chameleon world you may not yet be experienced with the wild caught (aka WC) vs captive bred (aka CB) debate. There is a lot of mis information out there about the health and the size and the temperament of CB vs WC animals. Here we are going to cover and discuss why we recommend and breed captive bred animals.
We recommend just about everyone looking for a panther chameleon purchase a captive bred animal. Captive bred panther chameleons are chameleons that have been born and raised in captivity. They are much less likely to have parasites, injuries, or scars. Captive bred animals typically go to their new owners without any issues at all. This is important if you are a first time chameleon owner but is also very beneficial for experienced keepers.
Wild caught animals tend to have more aggressive temperaments than their captive bred cousins. Captive bred animals are, for the most part, easier to handle and much less likely to bite. Wild caught are often riddled with parasites that need long and intensive treatment to cure.
You may have heard some people talk about how wild caught specimens are larger or healthier. We have never seen any evidence of this at all. The largest panther chameleon we own, who is also the largest one we have ever seen, is a 5th generation captive bred animal and is in no way small. Wild caught animals tend to be much smaller than the males we have here. I believe the people that are making these claims must have substantially different husbandry practices than we do, as our captive breds are quite large.
You may have also heard that captive bred animals are unhealthy because they are inbred. This is just silly. Captive panther chameleons are no more inbred than their wild counter parts. I know as humans it’s a little disturbing to talk about this, but when a clutch of baby chameleons hatch in the wild they simply scurry up the closest trees they can find. They tend to live their lives in a fairly small area, and breed with other panther chameleons in that same area. Most of them will be at least cousins, if not brother and sister. There is no logical reason to think that wild caught animals are any less inbred than the captive bred animals here in the U.S.