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  1. #1
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    Chameleon Exhibit for School??

    Hello all,

    My name is Leroy Steigerwalt and I teach at Kingsbury Elementary School in Sumter South Carolina. At our school we have several exhibits for the students to enjoy including a ball python enclosure in my class which you can read about here
    Kingsbury Herpetology Exhibit!!!

    I would like to expand our exhibits and am considering a chameleon. After doing some research they seem to be harder to take care of than our reef aquarium is. Are they really that hard to take care of? Are they expensive to maintain? It seems that handling is out of the question.

    Is this even a good idea? Can you suggest any other herps I could maintain easily for the school?

    Thanks...Leroy Steigerwalt






  2. #2
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    Re: Chameleon Exhibit for School??

    I have 2 panther chameleons, depends on what kind of chameleon you are planning on getting. If they're going to be at a school and around a bunch of kids I don't think it would be a good idea. Chameleons are very fragile, and easily stressed out animals. A stressed out chameleon will get very sick, and yeah, it's a lot of money, just the setup will probably cost you 300 dollars for everything, then the chameleon is quite expensive. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be a good idea for a chameleon project in a school. Maybe try a colony of green anoles?

  3. #3
    Founding Member venus's Avatar
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    Re: Chameleon Exhibit for School??

    I'd have to agree. A cham is not a good choice for loud or high traffic areas. Stick to Leopard Geckos, Bearded Dragons, Ball Python's, maybe some frogs, skinks.
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  4. #4
    Frog Lover schlegelbagel's Avatar
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    Re: Chameleon Exhibit for School??

    Chams are not the way to go around a bunch of screaming elementary school kids.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Chameleon Exhibit for School??

    When I was in elementary school, my science room had an 6 foot long tank with like 20 anoles, it was so cool. You could fit probably 5 (1 males, 4 females) in a 55 gallon tank. Bearded dragons eat WAY too much if its just a project for school. As babies/juvies they eat like 15-25 crickets a day each plus other treats. Green anoles eat about 3-4 appropriately sized crickets a day, so you could just drop a dozen crickets a day. Easy care, heating lamp, floursecent UVB light, misting in the morning, foliage and pot soil as a substrate with a hide box is all you'll need. Some gravel at the bottom of the top soil will help with drainage.

  6. #6
    Elite Member ryanpb's Avatar
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    Re: Chameleon Exhibit for School??

    I agree. I'd stay away from chameleons in school.

    If your looking at expanding, Green, or bahama, Anoles would be great, Maybe a schneider's Skink, they are a affordable reptile, and from my experience with mine, so long as you give them a few hides, don't stress out much. Leopard Gecko's and African Fat Tails would probaly make good classroom pets also.
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  7. #7
    Frog Lover schlegelbagel's Avatar
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    Re: Chameleon Exhibit for School??

    If you wanted to do a half water, half land set up, fire belly toads are great fun.
    My name is Liz
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  8. #8
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    Re: Chameleon Exhibit for School??

    Quote Originally Posted by schlegelbagel View Post
    if you wanted to do a half water, half land set up, fire belly toads are great fun.
    Fun... But toxic, they secrete toxins when stressed, and as a class pet/experiment. I'm assuming the kids would want to play with it, so handling causes stress. The toxins can't be great for the kids, especially if they don't wash their hands before they touch their eyes or mouth. Also you will need a filter because if the water will become toxic to the other toads in the enclosure.

  9. #9
    Elite Member ryanpb's Avatar
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    Re: Chameleon Exhibit for School??

    Yeah, but with proper care and supervision, that could all be avoided.
    However, i don't think Firebelly toads would be the best class pet, I have personally seen parents freak out when they find out the toad they bought is toxic.

    If you were careful, it could be done, but you will probaly have parents who complain.
    "Nobody can do Everything, but Everybody can do Something."

  10. #10
    Elite Member Typhanie's Avatar
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    Re: Chameleon Exhibit for School??

    With frogs, toads, or newts you can get tadpoles and take the kids through metamorphosis, too. That's always an interesting lesson, and fun even for older kids who'd never admit it.

    Any reptile is going to find the classroom a high stress area. So you'll have to keep that in mind and make sure that they have secure hides, and that the kids have specific instructions on what not to do to help stress out the reptiles as little as possible.

    But I'd agree that bearded dragons are among your best choices. They are a little more sociable than some, and are very curious. Even though I think we've all had anoles as class pets, I don't think they really are good choices. They are nervous, excitable creatures sometimes even in a controlled environment, they need certain humidity and heat levels that they don't always get in a school environment, and they're prone to escape. Although if they are look-don't-touch pets and you can keep their temp levels right, they'd be great. For that matter a turtle might be nice if you have a large enclosure for it and it didn't get held very often.
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