Acquired: Pet store
Posted Jan 27, 2017
Atlas came home with us early in the month of January and we were under the impression we were prepared for her - we had her domes, lights, enclosure, foliage and everything. What we weren't completely prepared for was just HOW high maintenance these animals are, and just how temperamental.
Atlas needs to be misted multiple times daily to maintain a humidity level between 50% and 70% within her enclosure to simulate her natural tropical conditions - she also needs a fairly hot basking spot, ranging from low- to high-90s, making humidity maintenance a little difficult! A humidifier is always a GREAT idea - Repti Foggers and Repti Rains are great, but they release a cool mist - not the greatest for your animal. A regular humidifier does the trick, though whichever option you choose, they still require misting 2-4 times daily, for a solid 2-5 minutes every time - any less than two minutes will not affect the humidity levels enough.
We need to have someone available to mist her every few hours, bugs need to be placed on her vines and amongst her foliage to entice her to eat them (she rarely goes into her substrate), and her temperature needs to be kept consistent, which can be difficult in a screen enclosure, all of which make these less than ideal for even moderately experienced reptile keepers. If you're already familiar with chameleons, you might be surprised to find the Oustalet a little more high maintenance, not to mention that they are not as keen to be handled as Veiled or Panther chameleons can be.
Overall, we are absolutely in love with this girl and wouldn't trade her for another reptile - but be warned if you choose to get one, they ARE a lot of work, and if you slack on it, your animal WILL suffer for it, no questions about it, seeing as they are very sensitive creatures. But if you think you can handle the work, these beauties love running around on their vines and foliage and make wonderful entertainment for hours!