Friday, January 30, 2015

Goodbye Arthur

As many of you know, we had a very special friend in our Science Lab. He came to us about seven years ago via FedEx from Florida. We named him Arthur. 
He was a grouch but we loved him anyway. His mouth was perpetually turned down through no fault of his own. His maker liked it that way.

Arthur was a solitary creature. Chameleons need to be alone and don't like having other chameleons in their cages.

Despite his reclusive behavior and perpetual frown, all the children loved Arthur. He was quite good at disturbing the classes when they came to the room. I had to hold the attention of the students as well as compete with a lizard just to teach in there!

Now come on... That is a hard act to follow!

Arthur would climb to the front of the cage when students arrived and spread his beautiful green body out wide, hoping for a treat. The only teacher who could compete with Arthur to hold the children's attention and win was Tim Morgan, the music teacher. That man has a gift with children and music that comes straight from heaven!

Arthur loved to eat crickets. Each year when we have the 1st Grade Insect Lab, Arthur gets to eat all the left over crickets. The most he ever ate at one time was 60 crickets during that Cricket Lab. He looked forward to it with glee, that is if chameleons can show that emotion. Its hard to tell due to the downturned, smug look on their face.

After Christmas this past season, I went to the lab to feed and clean cages only to find poor Arthur resting quietly at the bottom of the cage. He was gone. What a shock!

So here I am in Hawaii missing my lizard and looking for a Jackson's chameleon.Arthur was a veiled chameleon. Jackson's chameleons are wild here on the islands and can be purchased for $10 dollars or more. What a deal! My Dutch blood was racing!! After I did some checking I found out that it is legal to export up to four chameleons at a time from Hawaii to the mainland with a permit. The problem for me is that the airlines won't let me take a reptile on the airplane as a carry on.

 Can you believe that? How heartless!! We found this amazing little Jackson's Chameleon climbing around in some trees at a lavender farm on Maui.  They are wild here but are considered an invasive species.

Thankfully, my trusty side-kick, Jessica, found another Veiled Chameleon at a nearby pet shop. Arthur, you can never be replaced, but we are thankful and eager to welcome another of your kind to our happy Science Lab.
So welcome Leonardo!  
I can't wait to interact with you and explore your amazing self.

If you want to learn more about chameleons, click here.

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