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O2010-10

Dear Chester Chinchilla

Do chinchillas make good pets?

Chester Responds

Certainly! However, as small, playful, quick but fragile creatures, we’re better suited for adults and teens than children.

We live 15 to 20 years, remarkably long for a rodent. While we are generally nocturnal, we’re most active at dusk and dawn.

A chinchilla needs a very large cage with platforms, ramps and plenty of space to climb and explore. The cage also should have room for toys, a litter box and a dust bath.

Sad to say, we love to chew, so we can’t be trusted alone in a room.

As natives of South America’s Andes Mountains, we can’t tolerate heat or high humidity, so your home should have air conditioning.

To find a tame, friendly chinchilla, check your local animal shelter or contact a reputable breeder who handled the pet gently and frequently since its birth.

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