Tuesday, December 18, 2012
WIRES received an unusual call last week from a lady in the Ryde area, who had found an 'exotic' looking lizard on a table leg in her courtyard that was not moving much. Jo, our WIRES Rescue Van operator rang the lady for more details to determine if the reptile needed rescuing.
After speaking with the lady Jo decided she needed to go and investigate as she described a lizard that was pale green, blue and red and had a knob on its head. This description does not correspond to any native Australian lizard. When Jo arrived she found a lizard exactly as described, it was very cold and definitely not a native reptile, it was a chameleon. Jo contained the chameleon and sent a photo to a reptile expert for species confirmation. It was obviously an escaped pet, even though they are an illegal exotic pet in Australia and only licensed zoos and wildlife parks can keep them.
It is in care with a WIRES reptile handler being fed and stabilized while a place is found for it to be rehomed, most likely a wildlife park. It was identified as a Veiled Chameleon, which are a large chameleon native to the mountain regions of Yemen and surrounding countries, they are a tree dwelling lizard.
Image credit Matteo Ratini