Author Topic: Chinchilla Problem?  (Read 5720 times)

Offline tamena

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Chinchilla Problem?
« on: January 04, 2006, 11:22:33 AM »
I'm not sure it's truly a problem but maybe more of an issue.
We seem to have a little grey chin running around outside.
Yes, you read that right.

I noticed a rather odd looking squirrel yesterday, kinda bopping around in the brush on the other side of the driveway.  No biggie, he just looked REALLY fat and rather round.
This morning my youngest daughter and I were waiting for her bus, and there it was again...lil fat squirrel dude.
Only thing is I'm 99.99% sure it's not a squirrel.
I tried to get a pic of it but it moves too fast.  It ducks for cover if we get to close and takes off running if we try to surround it.  Little thing is quick!

Any suggestions?  I don't think it's overly friendly...
I have a have-a-heart trap but have no clue what to put in it that a chin might want but nothing else will eat *wild rats, racoons, squirrels...*

These are cool weather critters right?  I don't mean I want to leave him out there!  NO!  But if I remember correctly they're pretty tolerant of cold weather...not like a cockatiel that would die instantly outside in NJ right now.

Help?

Offline flannel

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Re: Chinchilla Problem?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2006, 12:35:30 PM »
Could it maybe be a packrat? aka bushy tailed wood rat.
http://www.mammalogy.org/mil_images/images/mid/1166.jpg
That's not the best picture but it might help.  We have them around here, currently one's living in our shed.  Ours tend to be alot more grey and soft-looking, more chinchilla-ish.  About a year ago, I found what I thought was a dead chinchilla that one of my dogs had manhandled but now I'm not so sure it wasn't a packrat.  We live in a rural area beside a highway where people dump off all manner of unwanted animals so a chinchilla made sense at the time.  Now that I've seen our shed-dweller more, I really think that they look alot alike to the untrained eye, ok, I have only been in the same room as a chinchilla once, so I'm excused  :BlueDumboSmileTongue:.  They are dang cute, about 16 inches long and their tail is 1/3 of their body, their droppings look just like domestic rat raisins but the part that bugs me about yours is that packrats tend to mostly come out at night.  Have you noticed shiny things missing?  Ours steals shiny tools all the time and it just kills me!  Yes, we've dug through his 'midden' and found ratchets and screwdrivers etc.  I just can't bear to evict him before spring so he stays for now. 

I suppose you could trap him and let him go if it's not a chin.  No harm there, and maybe you'll be saving some poor lost pet from having to live in the wild in the winter.

Hope maybe this helps you identify the little furball.
"Reader, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform."
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Offline tamena

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Re: Chinchilla Problem?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2006, 01:04:22 PM »
ours doesn't seem quite that angular if that makes sense?
S/he's more rounded and boxy looking which is what makes me think it's a chin.  We live next to a highway too and there's condos behind us, so all kinds of things tend to go wandering around here.
It looks really fluffy and soft and I've seen it at dusk and in the morning.  Nothing during the day yet, but I've been really busy too so not sure.

I really need to get out the binoculars and see if I can catch a better glimpse of him.  I hope we can take care of it so it doesn't get hurt, whatever it is...it's a lot cuter than the tree rats we have running amok  :cheeky:

Offline Lmbswimmer

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Re: Chinchilla Problem?
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2006, 11:06:28 PM »
If it is a chinchilla you could try putting some bath dust in a bowl in the havahart trap and see if it goes in.  Though, if a chin has been without dust for a long time or never has had it, it may not know what it is. 

Good luck.

Offline Dakota

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Re: Chinchilla Problem?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2006, 06:31:56 PM »
The only thing I could think of to tell a chinnie apart from the other animals is that chinnies have big round ears.  They are lagomorphs, like rabbits, and are herbivores. For the trap, the dust bath sounds like a good idea.  My roomate has a chinnie and he loves his dust.
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Offline tamena

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Re: Chinchilla Problem?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2006, 06:45:11 PM »
going to snag some dust from a friend tomorrow and see if we can catch it.
I saw it again yesterday but only very briefly.  The lil bugger is QUICK!

I'm pretty sure it's a chin, I can't think of anything else that it might even possibly be.  Size, shape, coloring and yes even the ears point to a chin.  I haven't seen any lost pet stuff anywhere and I've looked online too.  I just hope we can catch it before something happens to it  :puppy_dog_eyes:

Offline Marybelle

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Re: Chinchilla Problem?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2006, 08:14:41 PM »
Oh yeah, dust is the best.  Good luck with catching him!

Offline nancycccslp

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Re: Chinchilla Problem?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2006, 11:47:06 PM »
I would call animal control.  They are experienced with catching animals, and a chin has no defense but speed; a cat, dog etc. could kill him easily.  You need a big net, or better yet several nets, and people to hold them, corral him and snag him.  Sounds like Animal Control to me!
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Offline tamena

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Re: Chinchilla Problem?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2006, 07:27:20 AM »
unfortunately animal control around here is useless.   If you're having issues with wild animals they actually tell you to go hire someone.  I've had more issues with our local ACO's than I'd like to think about  >:(   Now if I could get Plainfield or Bridgewater out here I'd be OK, but they won't come into town cause of our "contracted" control people.  Can't say as I blame them though.  Our officers are notoriously difficult to work with, rarely available and don't respond very quickly when needed.  The kicker is if I needed to borrow a have-a-heart trap they'd charge me to rent it...like $50, which I could buy one myself for.  Not a deposit you get back when you return the thing either

Luckily, cause of where we live, there aren't any cats or dogs running amok except ours and ours stay inside a fenced area away from where this little guy is hiding.  I'm going to put the dust out this morning and keep trying. Still checking to see if anyone lost this poor thing but having no luck.  I can't imagine how he got here unless someone in the low income housing behind us just let him go...in which case I;d like to find them and rip them apart.

Offline DolciLady

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Re: Chinchilla Problem?
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2006, 01:40:07 PM »
any updates or more sightings?
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Offline menagerie

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Re: Chinchilla Problem?
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2006, 10:45:01 PM »
The only thing I could think of to tell a chinnie apart from the other animals is that chinnies have big round ears.  They are lagomorphs, like rabbits, and are herbivores. For the trap, the dust bath sounds like a good idea.  My roomate has a chinnie and he loves his dust.

Chincillas are herbivore rodents.
If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.  ~ Margaret Fuller