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At times, it will be more efficient to ship your chameleon to your destination than to travel with it. Luckily, there are a variety of services available to help you do just that. There are also a lot of rules regarding how it must be managed. Before you put your chameleon in a box, and hope for the best, review the following guidelines to help make your shipping experience a success.
Don’t Use Just Any Box
To ship a live animal, you must meet packaging requirements as set forth by the shipping company. Requirements include the use of specific materials and restrictions on how the package is constructed. These requirements are in place to ensure the safety of both your chameleon and the personnel involved in the shipping process.
Proper ventilation must be present while maintaining the integrity of the package’s construction. The destination and return addresses must be clearly marked, and a description of the contents is required.
Don’t Just Toss Your Chameleon in the Mail
You can’t simply drop the box in a mailbox and expect everything to work out. When shipping live animals, you must make sure the shipping company is aware of the contents. Only certain shipment methods are permitted. For example, many shippers require that live animals be sent overnight. Additionally, they may not accept a live animal shipment on Friday or the day before holidays, as that automatically increases the amount of travel time before the package will reach its destination.
The Weather Matters
The temperature needs of your chameleon must be a factor in determining if and when you ship. For example, it is not recommended to ship when the outside temperature is below or above certain points. Most shipping methods do not have the packages in temperature controlled environments. This means that the outside temperature is likely what your chameleon will be dealing with.
In cases where the temperature is only somewhat below ideal, such as 50°F, a heat pack can help raise the internal temperature to a more comfortable level. However, if the outside temperature is 32°F, even a heat pack cannot bring up the temperature enough to make sure your chameleon will be safe during transit.
Temperature considerations must be based on the location from which the package is shipped as well as the destination. In some cases, if the destination’s temperature is too high, you can elect to have your package sent to a shipment center managed by the shipping company. This keeps your chameleon in a temperature controlled environment until you can pick him or her up.
Some Animals Cannot be Shipped, Period
While the vast majority of chameleons can be shipped, some other reptiles are not eligible. Anything venomous or poisonous cannot be shipped. An endangered species is often considered nonmailable. Mammalian household pets, such as cats and dogs, are rarely shippable.
Other shipping restrictions can be in place, and may vary depending on the shipping company in use.
Certain Destinations are Off Limits
Just as we discussed in articles about traveling with your chameleon by car or airplane, not all species are permitted in all destinations. Before you arrange for a shipment, make sure you are legally allowed to receive your chameleon at its destination.
Consider a Professional Shipping Service
Professional reptile shipping services are aware of the idiosyncrasies involved in the shipment of reptiles, including chameleons. These services can provide all of the materials necessary to ship your chameleon. Most offered detailed packing instructions along with insulated shipping boxes, heat packs, and other packing materials. They are also knowledgeable about any restrictions regarding the shipment of reptiles, and may be able to offer guidance when needed.
We always recommend and ship via Ship Your Reptiles at www.shipyourreptiles.com
Our Shipping Procedures
Here at Canvas Chameleon we ship all our chameleons FedEx Express Priority Overnight. They are packaged up later in the day and dropped off at our local FedEx hub around 5-6 PM at night in order to reduce the amount of time they are in their shipping boxes. In most areas, they will be delivered by 10:30 AM the following morning. Shipping can be stressful on the chameleon but in most cases it is more stressful for us awaiting their delivery as once in their dark boxes they fall sleep for the majority of the trip. Here is a quick break down of our packaging process here at Canvas Chameleons