Pet of the Day

December 29, 2010

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Franky, the Pet of the Day
Name: Franky
Age: Six years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Jackson's Chameleon
Home: Kaimuki, Hawaii, USA
   A friend caught young Franky boy in Manoa Valley and wasn't able to take care of him so gave him to me when he was only a few months old. Franky eats only live bugs, is happy tame and likes exercise by climbing up and down an avocado tree in my backyard! He drinks water from a spray bottle.

    Franky has a great personality, he's usually in a good mood, and rarely cranky. He's gentle and quiet, and his favorite TV shows are Friends and Animal Planet, although I often try to remind him that shows like Friends is a little bit unrealistic; rents are too high in Manhattan for a lizard to live in a large apartment, especially if his only form of employment is working in a coffee shop. And besides, Franky is a tropical boy: east coast winters are way too cold for him.

    Franky knows so many tricks: let's see, he can change his body color and pattern to match his mood, solid black (when he's grumpy), yellow, bluish, green with black triangles and all green (when he's very happy). He can also move his eyes independently, so that if he wants to he can look straight ahead with one eye and straight backwards with the other. This way he can focus on two different objects at once: such as bugs, tree branches, or predators such as birds, snakes or cats. Another favorite trick is, he can hang upside-down by his tail, which comes in really handy for climbing trees. His favorite activities include climbing large trees, and hunting tasty insects. But maybe his most amazing trick is, once he sees a bug that he wants for lunch, he focuses both eyes on it, then in the blink of an eye, he fires his long, sticky tongue out and catches the bug, and instantly reels it back into his open mouth. The most amazing part of this trick is, the speed and the distance: his tongue is about the same length as his body!

    Chameleons are found naturally only in Africa and Madagascar. In the 1970's a pet distributor imported some chameleons from Kenya, in eastern Africa, to the island of Oahu in Hawaii, and let some go in his backyard. Today, Jackson's chameleons live in the mountains of Oahu, eating snails and bugs, and enjoying the pleasant tropical climate, and some say, occasionally surfing at Waikiki Beach.

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