Reptiles/crestie

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Question
When i was a kid i housed a jackson chamelon with a gecko (not sure if it was a crestie or not) but they got along just fine,  I was wondering if it would be OK to house them together again, as i'm older and can take better care (the chameleon died of dehydration and the gecko was given away then died a week later)

Answer
Hi Justi,

Mixed species enclosures can work under very specific circumstances and with certain species of reptiles. Chameleons are not good candidates for mixed tanks however. They are just too delicate and prone to stress related illness. You will not likely see outright aggression between a chameleon and another reptile and that can lead you to believe that everything is fine. The problem is more subtle that that. What happens is the chameleon just stops eating, drinking or basking and slowly goes downhill.

Stressed reptiles are also far more susceptible to disease and keeping reptiles from different parts of the world together increases the risk of disease transmission. Even if both reptiles seem healthy they can carry bacteria or other organisms that are pathogenic to a different species.  

Reptiles

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Thea

Expertise

I can answer questions on the proper husbandry and diet of Iguanas, bearded dragons, geckoes, skinks, chameleons, tortoises, box turtles, treefrogs, non-venomous snakes and tarantulas. Also the breeding of some species of feeder insects. I have no experience with venonmous snakes and only limited experience with aquatic turtles.

Experience

I have been keeping and breeding reptiles for over 30 years. In addition to my regular job in the medical field I also worked for several years in a pet store that specialized only in exotics. The job entailed both caring for and answering questions on innumerable species. It required constant, extensive research into a wide range of reptiles. I have been called to appear on televised national media (CBC, CTV and Life Channel) as well as CBC radio to discuss the proper care of reptiles and other exotics in captivity. I currently own one or more species of those listed under my expertise with the exception of chameleons. I owned chameleons for years but keep none currently. I keep over 20 snakes comprising 5 species, both Colubridae and Boidae. I bred corn snakes for several years. I have a particular interest in treefrogs and currently have 5 different species. I've raised redfoot tortoises for 10 years and have two iguanas, one for 12 years.

Publications
A small and now defunct local magazine called "Pet Vue"

Education/Credentials
Diagnostic medical microbiology with some parasitology experience.

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