EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — The El Paso Zoo Education Center helps educate children and adults alike about different slithery animals and furry friends, including chinchillas.
The Zoo said they love to explore and that’s why people who want them as pets need to know they require a special area and a lot of extra care.
“They are related to the raccoon family. They are rodents. But again, because they are so sociable, they are always investigating. They are looking at things. They respond,” said Leidiana Baca, an education specialist at the Zoo. “In some cases, there is training that can be done with them. They are intelligent and they respond and they interact. And when you want a pet, you want that interaction, so that’s why they become popular.”
Zoo education specialists said chinchillas are from South America, around the mountainous areas where it gets cold. Their fur helps keep them warm. The long-tailed chinchillas, like the one at the El Paso Zoo Education Center, use their tail to help them navigate the rocky areas.
“So when we are talking about them living higher in the mountains, that’s kind of extra footing to kind of balance when they need it. They are very fast and their little feet, we are keeping them covered because they can push off and jump as far as six feet,” said Baca.
Find out more information about the education center by clicking here.