Awesome Animal: The Chinchilla

I first became obsessed with this animal in my first year at varsity. My friend and I were cruising the malls and decided to check out the pet shop. We saw this strange mouse like creature that was R6000. We wanted to see it but it was sleeping. When we asked the manager if he could wake it up so that we could hold it, he looked at us like we were crazy animal abusers and said “NO!”

Fact 1: Chinchillas are nocturnal. 
Fact 2: They bath in dust. Dust? Yes? No? Anyone? 

They do not bathe in water, but dust instead. They will flip, roll, dig and play merrily in their quest to be clean. 

Fact 3: A baby chinchilla is called a kit

This cute picture was taken from an awesome website called Baby Animalz and you should check it out.  

Fact 4: They have extremely soft fur

The other day I was pet shop visiting (my sister calls me a pet shop groupie) and I asked if I could hold a chinchilla. They are the softest animals ever. A chinchilla has 90 hairs per follicle, whereas a human has 1 or 2.  My mom is really worried I will buy more animals to add to my menagerie but sadly I started sneezing when I held the fur ball (even though they have no dander, which is the leading cause of pet related allergies) and they are R2000 a pop. They are also used to make fur coats. Argh! Not cool. 
Fact 5: They are immortal…well almost. 
These South American animals live to be about 20 years old. That is like having a child. 
The collective noun for chinchillas is: colony. 
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