Chipmunk anyone?

Discussion in 'Working and Companion Animals' started by Loveourkids3, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. Loveourkids3

    Loveourkids3 Well-Known Member

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    My dear sweet SIL just brought the kids a chipmunk. It's supposed to be a rescued one that's just over a year old. It's currently in a 20 gal tank. I have no idea what to do with the poor thing. It's huddled in a corner looking terrified and miserable. The kids are thrilled with it so now I need advice. Any ideas on a better cage? Is it to late to try to get a companion for it? Do they need a companion? I don't imagine it would survive on it's own and the kids would flip but I feel awful for the poor thing all huddled in that tank.
     
  2. Spotted Crow

    Spotted Crow Well-Known Member

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    Does it have anything to climb on or to hide in...the chipmunks up my way like to hide in stone walls...They eat grains and nuts and grasses.
    In most states in order to keep a wild animal you have to have gone through rehab classes. As much as your SIL meant well, send it off to a wildlife centre where it will be happier and healthier.
     

  3. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yes, he probably needs a burrow. Can you put a foot of dirt in the tank? And some vegetation? A few rocks.
     
  4. Loveourkids3

    Loveourkids3 Well-Known Member

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    The tank he came in has cedar chips, a metal water bowl, a stick of wood, and a hampster wheel. Really doesn't look like he has much room to move or play though. I'm thinking a taller wire cage with a place to dig and branches to climb. I'm wondering if it's even legal to keep one in captivity as it's a wild animal. I need to find out whether or not it would survive if released and if there's a certain time of year it would have a better chance.
    If it won't survive if released we need to figure out how best to care for it.
     
  5. Loveourkids3

    Loveourkids3 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input. I'm gonna have a talk with the kids. I think the little critter should be with his own kind.
    Any suggestions for a more suitable allergy friendly pet?
     
  6. tweety

    tweety Tweety

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    Put it to the kids like this; "Imagine that you were being kept in a tiny cage by a family of elephants. They love having you and would give you everything you want to eat and play with, but you will never ever see your family and friends again. Would you want that?"
    Wild animals are hard to keep, and keep happy. For one thing, chipmunks hibernate in the winter, which makes them a dull pet for most of the year. I agree with those who suggest finding a better place for the little guy, which may even be your own yard as long as it has places to hide away and dig a burrow. At this time of year the chipmunk would need help finding stores of food for the winter, you could supply plenty of birdseed for him to stockpile. His chances would be slim, but that's life for a chipmunk.
    Check a pet store for domesticated rodents that might be more suitable little pets. White rats are actually friendly and affectionate.
     
  7. Loveourkids3

    Loveourkids3 Well-Known Member

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    It appears that if released now the poor thing wouldn't have a chance. I think he's gonna have to stay with us until winter is over. He should be fine in the tank though until then. Hopefully since he'll be asleep most of the time the kids will lose interest in such a dull pet. Meanwhile I will check on a more suitable critter for them.
     
  8. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely! I have had two of them, both would come when called when I had them out loose to play. One played with a poodle we had! They were easy to handle, unlike gerbils or hamsters that can be jumpy.
     
  9. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Chipmunks hibernate underground. Contact a wildlife person. He may need low light and/or low temps before he hibernates. He also needs a layer of fat.
     
  10. Reauxman

    Reauxman Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the release it and get another pet. A guinea pig or rabbit will provide a much better pet and there will be ample information as to how it should be cared for unlike chipmonks.
     
  11. canadianmandy

    canadianmandy Certified Animallover!

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    Check the laws in tennesee it may be perfectly legal to have a pet chipmunk alot of ppl have them. Not to contradict anyone else here though. HEre is a forum that you may find most helpful http://thesquirrelboard.com/forums/index.php they have a section for chipmunks and they will be very kind and helpful and will help you do the best thing you can possibly do for the lil baby. though I dont know it can still be relesed after being in captivity for a year.. (was it hand raised or was it rescued not to long ago.?) I am wishing you the best! BTW my nick is Naturesgift on that forum so If I say hello you know its me!

    Mandie