Emergency c-section on very pregnant indigenous flap-neck chameleon

An emergency c-section was done on a very pregnant indigenous flap-neck chameleon.

According to a statement by the Bryanston Avian, Exotic and Small Animal Clinic the very pregnant chameleon was brought in about two weeks ago.


“After stabilising her, we sent her to Friends of Free Wildlife (FFW) to give her the chance to lay her eggs in the right substrate and with a bit of comfort and privacy.

“Unfortunately, she never did, and her eggs just continued to grow inside her.”

The vets then decided that her best chance of survival would be an emergency c-section.

“We decided that her best chance of survival – as well as the future baby chameleons’ – was an emergency C-Section, and so yesterday mommy chameleon went under the knife our amazing Dr Jean managed to get all the eggs out unharmed, and pulled mom through this very hectic surgery.”

Emergency c-section
Photo: Bryanston Avian, Exotic and Small Animal Clinic

The clinic recently said the chameleon is looking much more comfortable.

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“She is ready to get back to chameleoning her eggs went straight to FFW yesterday, and are currently being incubated.

Emergency c-section chameleon
Photo: Bryanston Avian, Exotic and Small Animal Clinic


“With any luck, in 6-9 months we will have a bunch of tiny flap-necks making their arrival.”

The clinic said on their Facebook Page it could not yet determine if the chameleon would be able to breed again.

“Dr. Jean took every precaution to ensure that as little damage as possible was done to her reproductive system, but unfortunately, only time will tell if she will breed again. We are holding thumbs for her.”

The Flapped-Necked Chameleon is a large chameleon with a continuous crest of small, white, triangular tubercles on the throat and belly.

Colouration varies, from pale yellow through green shades to brown. The belly crest is white, and there is usually a pale bar on the sides.

Here are 5 fascinating facts about the flapneck chameleon:

  • Chameleons’ conical eyes have fused eyelids, leaving just a pinhole through which to see. They revolve independently, allowing the chameleon a 360º arc of vision. The eyes possess stereoscopic depth perception for an accurate strike.
  • Nearly half of the 160+ species of chameleon are native to Madagsacar. Most of the rest are found on mainland Africa.
  • A flapneck chameleon can shoot its tongue out as far as the length of its own body. It does this at a speed of around three hundredths of a second.
  • A chameleon changes color by using layers of specialized cells, called chromatophores, which lie beneath its transparent skin. These comprise a mixture of pigmented, light-reflecting and melanin cells. The reptile can manipulate these cells like the paint on an artist’s palette.
  • The word chameleon is the Latinized form of the Ancient Greek khamaileon. The word derives from khamai (on the ground) and leon (lion) and translates loosely as ‘ground lion’. This refers to the reptile’s intimidating defensive display, in which it gapes, hisses and lunges.

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Presh JM Reporter

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