Chinchillas are small furry rodents that are found in South America’s Andes Mountains. There are two species: Chinchilla brevicaudata and Chinchilla lanigera.
A chinchilla is similar to a rat or a squirrel, just a bit larger. Chinchillas live in burrows, but could also live in cracks of rocks. They can jump up to six feet in the air. You might also think most animals are born without fur and their eyes closed, but chinchillas are born with fur and their eyes opened.
In 2016, chinchillas became an endangered species due to poaching of their soft and thick furs for clothing. Although hunting and using chinchillas fur as clothing is illegal, there are many who still continue this practice.
Wild chinchillas are known to eat plant leaves, seeds, fruit, and small insects. Domestic chinchillas eat food pellets, special hays, and rare treats. Chinchillas’ predators are birds, skunks, cats, dogs and snakes. They spray urine and discharge their fur if they are bitten.
Many people have chinchillas as pets, although it may seem easy to have, it is not as easy as it seems because they need an environment between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They also need to be washed in special dust, not water. Additionally, they need special dental care because their teeth never stop growing.
Although chinchillas are soft and cute, they are hard to maintain. People should do research before getting them as a pets and it is important to help maintain the lives of these species!