Saturday, February 21, 2009

Camera Critters

Photobucket

This is a Naked-Soled Gerbil, Tatera indica, also known as Indian Gerbil or Antelope Rat. They are related to Mongolian gerbils, the most common pet gerbil, but not closely (the gerbil family is huge).

I've got mine from a friend who in turn rescued them when someone abandoned all her pets. Apart from the Naked-Soled gerbils, there were all kinds of mice, gerbils, hamsters and other exotic mammals, all severely neglected (cages not cleaned for week or months, dead animals everywhere, no food and water). The person just left and told no-one until three weeks later. I wasn't there, but what I heard was enough to make me want to strangle that person.

The gerbils are very shy, I can't handle them at all. But they are interesting to watch and I think they are quite cute with their big eyes - and they are extremely curious, always watching me to see what I'm doing.
Photobucket
That's Rygel (although it's actually a female) - she's probably almost blind due to a wrong diet, fruits and sugary treats can cause diabetes and other problems like cataracts with many rodents (dwarf hamsters for example). It doesn't bother her, though.

And this is Baron Harkonnen
Photobucket
He's so bald because they groom each other so much that their hair falls out. It's called barbering, fancy mice and rats sometimes do it, too. I think that it may have been caused by being kept in a tiny cage, just out of boredom, and now they can't get rid of it. They live in a 6ft long cage in my kitchen, Naked-Soled gerbils have about the size of a small rat and really need that much room.

See more critters over at the Camera Critters meme

22 comments:

T said...

Very interesting post, and cute little critters!

Rose said...

Cute little darlings...I am with you on strangling some of the people that treat their animals in such ways.

Carolina said...

They must be so happy that they were rescued and have such a nice place to live! Well done! People can be cruel creatures.

Tammy said...

I think he's cute bald or not! :o)

fishing guy said...

Jennife: What great photos of your gerbal.

Nikki-ann said...

I'm glad they've been rescued now :)

Dughallmor Beagles said...

Awww, cute little furry dude! And thanks for the info too :o)
Slobbers xx

Kendris said...

Too cute! I had Mongolian gerbils as a kid and loved them!

Adrienne in Ohio said...

What cute little creatures! I'm glad you rescued them.

Tink *~*~* said...

My brothers and I had a little family of small gerbils when we were kids. They were fun. Very occasionally, they would get a big treat - a white grape, cut up. They loved it. One of them would go to the corner of the cage and hiccup for a while after eating some of the grape. They were really very sweet pets.

Tink *~*~*
NEW at My Mobile Adventures *~*~* :
Of Mice and Mutts - Disney’s Flower and Garden Festival

Misty Dawn said...

What a very informative and wonderful post! They are really cute, in my opinion.

ChrisC and JonJ said...

How cute!I think he's precious!

Your EG Tour Guide said...

They are soo lucky you took them in! I'm not surprised they're shy after being treated do badly by their former owner.

Rhea said...

It breaks my heart to hear someone had so many animals and just left them like that. ugh. Cute photos.

Dianne said...

my son had gerbils when he was a boy - I loved them

people can be such trash. I'll never understand not respecting all creatures

If you do get to strangle that person I'll help

Noner said...

Never seen a gerbil quite like that before.

I played CC twice today at Rattitude and My Ordinary Things

Lilli & Nevada said...

Ok it looks like a rat to me, but they are so cute, poor fellow with the bad eye site. Do you let them run loose? My cats would have fun with them

Craig Glenn said...

My what big eyes you have.

Craig

Babooshka said...

It just doesn't get any cuter that this little honey. Very interesting too.

ramblingwoods.com said...

I'm glad that these guys have a good home with you..some people should not have pets...

koala said...

A cute creature indeed. The story behind it is horrifying. you would think that if someone gives home to so many animals they would treat them better.

Glennis said...

I didn't realise that gerbils were rats! I actually thought they were like guinea pigs.
I also learn something new. We don't have gerbils in New Zealand as far as i know, certainly I have never seen one.
I have to admit these gerbils do look very cute, I am glad you are taking good care of them.