We’ve bred our own Yemen chameleons at Northampton Reptile Centre for many years, it’s routine, easy, there are never any problems. But sadly, 6 months ago, it didn’t go smoothly for one of our chameleon girls, Lucy.
Lucy was digging in her nesting box getting ready to lay her eggs (she’s laid eggs before, she knew what she was doing), but after 30 minutes-or-so she suddenly started to look very unwell. Over the course of around 15 minutes she rapidly deteriorated and sadly passed away. This was unexpected, Lucy was a perfectly healthy chameleon
Lucy was clearly an egg bound chameleon. The decision was made to try to save the eggs that she was getting ready to lay. We had no idea if we could, but it had to be worth a try.
Lois carefully opened her body cavity and was greeted by a mass of eggs, it was clear what the problem was. One of the eggs had somehow ‘burst’ inside her at some point and had turned rotten as it decayed. All the other eggs looked great though and so they were removed from her oviducts and gently washed with distilled water.
The 42 eggs were incubated in a Stewart’s hatchling box on top of a layer of Lucky Reptile Hatchrite. 6 months later, they started to hatch. Because our incubator does not have an internal fan, it’s slightly warmer towards the back. This meant that the eggs nearer to the back of the incubator started hatching first. After about 2 weeks they were all out.
All of the babies are on display in the shop and are doing great! From 12 weeks of age we will be able to sell them to new homes. They will never know that they are a little more special than the other Yemen Chameleons here, we’re just happy that a story that started so sad had such a happy ending.