Hawaii: A fierce-looking lizard warms hearts at Big Island coffee farm
By Jay Jones
Apr 28, 2016 | 8:00 AM
A three-horned chameleon named Carl isn't exactly a warm and cuddly creature. But the Hawaiian coffee farm denizen is getting plenty of attention these days, thanks to two books that have been written about him.
The children's books are fictional, but Carl is a very real lizard. He's a member of the family of Jackson's chameleons that reside on the farm near Kailua-Kona on the big island.
Carl, more specifically, lives in an orange tree at Greenwell Farms, a Hawaii Island plantation that has been producing coffee since 1850.
Daily tours of the farm, which usually include sightings of Carl, are free -- and they're conducted by Daniel Swanson.
After creating some promotional materials, Swanson went on to write "Carl the Chameleon" and the just-published sequel, "Carl the Chameleon Goes 2 School.” The books -- along with coffee, of course -- are sold at the plantation's retail shop.
The books share the exploits of an adventurous lizard who -- despite his menacing face with horns -- gets picked on by the school bully.
According to Animal-World, the fattest of the chameleon's horns extends from the nose. Two longer, but skinnier, horns protrude from above the eyes, giving the creatures a fierce appearance. They are one of roughly 200 types of chameleons.
No reservations are required for Swanson's daily tours, which operate between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The farm is located at 81-6581 Mamalahoa Highway in Kealakekua, about 10 miles south of Kailua-Kona.