Coast KZN

29 Apr 2021

CROW eagerly awaits birth of 48 baby chameleons

(Northglen News) Picture: CROW - Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife/Facebook

A heavily pregnant Flap-Neck Chameleon was dropped off at the Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife recently and, during its one-night stay, laid 48 eggs.  This large species is endemic to Southern Africa and can grow up to between 25 cm to 30 cm in length.

“We intended on releasing this beautiful girl immediately as she had nothing wrong with her, however, she started digging her hole for laying in her temporary enclosure and this is a process we couldn’t interrupt for fear of her and her eggs’ well-being,” said CROW’s spokesman, Alexandra Kögl.

They lay between 20 and 50 eggs that hatch after approximately 10 to 12 months.

“She worked all night and, when we checked on her the next morning, she had laid a whopping 48 eggs!”

“These chameleons do not do well in captivity and, because she was perfectly fine on admission, we had to release her back in the area in which she was found,” said Kögl.

The eggs were placed in a specialised climate-controlled environment and the team at CROW hopes to welcome 48 healthy chameleon hatchlings in approximately nine months.

Once they have hatched, they will be released in a quiet area.

“Much like tortoises, chameleons are often seen on roads or on the side of the road and are brought in to CROW or other organisations under the impression they have been displaced. This is not true in most cases and the chameleons (and tortoises) are simply moving to a different area. Please, if you see a chameleon or tortoise on the road or close to the side of the road, gently move it off the road or into a quieter area so that it can safely carry on with its travels,” said Kögl.