Front image: Carpet Chameleon, image created at the Zurich Zooh on 21 November 2013, Canon EOS 5D Mark III and Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS with Canon EF 1.4x Extender III. ISO 6400, f/5.6, 1/60s, Evaluative metering +1/3.
Can we still make discoveries in a zoo? Apparently yes.
10 years ago the Masoala Greenhouse of the Zurich Zooh was designed with a few ponds with small artificial islands. The idea was to control the territory of the chameleons as these don’t swim. Not long after installing the Chameleons, they were lost! They simply disappeared and it took some time until they were found again, at some other location in the greenhouse. Well after all, the Carpet Chameleons can indeed swim and apparently it wasn’t known before…
Visiting Masoala last November I could notice that, with the rest of the greenhouse, the Carpet Chameleons are thriving there. I could see 4 different ones there and was told that a few others are roaming the greenhouse.
Chameleons are magical creatures, they are beautiful but they look clumsy, move slowly and seem to be right out from a science fiction movie, especially with their independent eyes with which they can watch their tail and their front at the same time. As creatures of habits they maybe the only lizards easy to spot at the Masoala Greenhouse: they like to stay at certain locations well visible from the walkways.
I also managed to spot the Madagascar Day Gecko a few times but I was so far unsuccessful seeing the couple of other species of the greenhouse (Madagascar Gridled Lizard and Leaf-tailed Gecko), that will be for another time.