Chinchillas are rodents that originally come from the Andes Mountains in South America. These are larger than ground squirrels, and are named after the Chincha people who are residents of the Andes. Originally used for clothing and accessories because of their fur, they are now becoming common pets.
Sheryl Goldstein, mother to Charlie is one of the people who are coming to love chinchillas as pets. Her son wanted a pet chinchilla for years, but she only gave him one two years ago. Now, both of them love Choncho, which is already 2 years old. She is just one of the New Yorkers who are discovering the delight of having a chinchilla for a pet.
Petco is one of the pet stores that sell chinchillas, and it has been selling these animals for almost 20 years already. The general manager, Steve Crall says that in a month’s time, there are about two chinchillas sold, and the numbers are increasing. He claims that chinchillas are very gentle animals and are sociable, bonding easily with their owners.
Chinchillas were first imported in the United States in 1923 from the Andes to be used in making coats because of their fur. In the 1960s, they were made as pets. As to this date, they are now legal in the city. Websites for chinchillas are getting very common, with Chins & Hedgies having memberships of over 3,000. A specialty-practice category that is for small exotic animals was set by the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2008 as a support for the chinchillas.
The lifespan of chinchillas is expected at 20 years, going more if well taken care of. They can cost around $130 at Petco, and for top-quality specimens from breeders, they can go as high as $200 to $600. Proper care should be given to them as they are sensitive to heat, and are prone to heatstroke.