Our main goal is to spread the most up-to-date, scientific based information, that is both easily understandable and easy to follow for all chameleon owners. We also strive to provide the ability for anyone who wants a chameleon to be able to afford a very happy and healthy companion who will live a long healthy life.

Here at Chameleons of the Keys, we specialize in breeding and raising Ambilobe Panther Chameleons (Furcifer pardalis). Ambilobe refers to the location (or “locale”) of Panther chameleons, which are found in Madagascar in a tropical forest biome. The Ambilobe is of the most common subspecies of panther chameleon with its vibrant and wide range of colors including, red body with a blue stripes (Tiki), green body with blue/red stripes, blue body with red stripes, yellow body with red/blue stripes (Punchy), orange body with blue stripes (Punchy Junior) and even mixtures of them all including; showing rainbows of color and color changes throughout their growth into adulthood (from ~3-4 months to ~12-18 months). Yellows and oranges are of the more rare colorations.

Zak Widener – Chameleons Of The Keys.

Zak's Story!

Zak got his first chameleon at 10 years old, and chameleons have been his favorite reptile ever since. He was born raising, rescuing, and grew up with and owned 40-50+ species of reptiles/amphibians and animals. He had everything from bearded dragons, iguanas, tegus, red-eyed alligator skinks, blue-tongue skinks, collard lizards, leopard lizards, monitor lizards, basilisks, horned toads [and various other types of lizards as well], ~10 species of snakes, various types of frogs and salamanders, a hairless rat, cats, dogs, goats, ducks, and many more. He also had a rescued rabbit, opossum and squirrel among others. Growing up he always had a special interest in reptiles in particular, especially chameleons.

When Zak moved from Texas to Florida in 2014 and started dental school, he decided to look into and buy a few animals for a nice stress relief and distraction from the daily stresses of dental school (including corn snakes, a Veiled and Oustalet Chameleon, and a Dog). Shortly after, and after rescuing several chameleons (one of which had severe MBD broken ribs and was abandoned at a pet store), he rescued a pregnant female veiled and began raising chameleons. Zak also spent a lot of his spare time trying to help spread correct information and prevent people from following all the misinformation on chameleon husbandry online. Dr. Ferguson was a big inspiration to him and he explains that a quick read of the abstract of one of his first evidence based scientific research articles from 1996 disproves some of the most common information you find online regarding chameleon husbandry.

“Spending just 2 minutes reading Dr. Ferguson’s abstract should be a prerequisite to owning a chameleon”, he states. He proclaims that even if you already own a chameleon (or have even read this abstract in the past), you should read it. European countries already implement programs with prerequisites such as a class, test, and license, in order to buy and own chameleons and other exotic animal species.

Since early 2015, Zak has since spent his spare time and made a hobby researching, rescuing, and attempting to help potential chameleon owners buy a healthy chameleon, while providing them with the most current, up-to-date scientific research, and making care as easy as possible.

Due to consistently seeing vitamin imbalances (mainly Calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D3) he researched and worked on making a very easy to use daily vitamin with specific concentrations of each, along with other multivitamins. Both indoor and outdoor vitamin powder (outdoor powder does not contain D3), is given away free to all buyers to ensure their health. He was also able to receive a lot of help on his research from UF’s Reptile and Amphibian Pathology Department which opened in 2017.

He explains being able to help both people and animals is an incredible experience. Additionally he enjoys knowing that he is providing some of the best and most current information to set new owners up with easy to follow and basic information in order for their babies to live long, healthy, and happy lives. To date, he still receives pictures of chameleons who are now over 4 years old and still flourishing.

Chameleons Of The Keys Inc.