Do you need a permit to own a chameleon?

Yes, you need permission to own a chameleon. It is illegal to take a chameleon from the wild. But they are allowed to be kept, bred, and sold.

To own a chameleon, you need permission or CITES papers. But some chameleons are not even allowed to be bred, bought, and sold with CITES papers. They are just illegal to keep as a pet.

What is CITES?

CITES stands for Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. This is an international agreement between governments. CITES aims to make sure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten the species’ survival.

Most chameleon species come under the CITES II appendix. The CITES II appendix means that you can trade them freely. But you cannot take the chameleon species from the wild. The veiled chameleon, panther chameleon, Jackson’s chameleon, and most common chameleon species in the pet trade comes under the CITES II.

What is the CITES II paperwork based on?

The chameleons that come under the CITES II list can be traded and kept as long as you have the proper paperwork. The paperwork is based on the following:

  • A document that states the species
  • The name or identity of the chameleon.
  • The name and address of the previous owner.
  • The name and address of the new owner.
  • The document needs to be signed by the old owner and the new owner.

The document says that the new owner needs to keep the chameleon until it is sold or dies.

The first thing you have to do when you buy a chameleon is to ask for the proper CITES papers. It is not a big deal to have CITES papers.

Where can you get CITES papers?

You can get the CITES papers from the legal pet shop. Those papers are prepared with all the information that you wanted. If you do not have, it is your right and responsibility to ask for those CITES papers.

If you already bought a chameleon as a pet and you do not have the CITES papers, you even have the option that you can go back to the place where you bought and ask for the CITES papers for you.

How much does it cost to own a chameleon?

The chameleons’ cost depends on the species of chameleon you need, the age of the chameleon, and the country you buy. Here is the cost of the chameleons based on their species and size:

Species of the chameleonSize Price of the chameleon
Panther chameleon16 – 22 inches$300
Veiled chameleon10 – 22 inchesMore than $50
Jackson’s chameleon8 – 12 inchesMore than $35
Ambilobe Panther chameleon16 – 22 inchesMore than $300
Four-Horned chameleon10 – 14 inchesMore than $100
Parson’s chameleon16 – 28 inchesMore than $1,000
Cuban False chameleon6 – 7 inches$150
Pygmy chameleon3 – 4 inchesMore than $50
Bearded Pygmy Chameleon3 inches$50
Usambara Pitted Pygmy chameleon3 inches$50
Carpet chameleon7 – 8 inchesMore than $200
Ambanja Panther Chameleon16 – 22 inchesMore than $300
Meller’s chameleon20 inchesMore than $150
Senegal chameleon6 – 8 inchesMore than $30
Fischer’s chameleon8 – 15 inchesMore than $100
Flap-Necked chameleon8 – 12 inches$50

Why are chameleons so expensive?

Chameleon pets are costly because they are very rare and camouflaged reptile.

Which are the cheapest chameleons you can buy?

The chameleons which are less than three months are usually cheaper chameleons than the adult chameleons.

What to check for when buying a chameleon?

If you want to buy a chameleon as your pet, you need to check the following:

  • Species of chameleon
  • Healthy chameleon
  • The environment which the chameleon kept in
  • Age of the chameleon

What happens if you buy the chameleon without any CITES papers?

According to the law, the chameleons are meant to live in the wild forests. If you have such a craze to have a chameleon as a pet, you need permission from the government and need some CITES papers. You can not even grab the chameleons from the forest without government permission.

Suppose you do not have any permission from the government to have a chameleon as a pet, or you do not have any CITES papers. In that case, it is considered criminal activity against the law, and you may undergo some legal actions ordered by the government.

Can we use the CITES papers which we buy from one state to another state?

Yes, we should use the CITES papers which we buy from one state to another state.

Should we need CITES papers along with us if we move from state to state with a chameleon?

Yes, we should carry the CITES papers if we move from state to state with a chameleon.