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The final episode in the chinchilla rescue and introduction saga of Pebbles and Cheerio.

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Hi, guys! Welcome back to Animal Wonders! 

I've been looking forward to giving you an update on Cheerio and Pebbles, our chinchillas, for a few weeks now, because quite a lot has happened.

[Intro Music]

If you're just joining us on this chinchilla saga, here's a quick summary of our recent adventures, rescuing a chinchilla and getting to know her.

You may also want to check out these three videos.

A few months ago, we rescued an adult chinchilla who was sick, and needed some TLC and a permanent home. We took her in, and then we asked our viewers to help name her and Pebbles won by popular vote. 

Once she was healthy, we were hoping she'd become best friends with our other chinchilla, Cheerio. 

Our first attempt at introducing Pebbles to Cheerio didn't go as smoothly as we'd hoped. But, we wanted to keep trying. So, we took a break for a week to let them settle down. And, that's where we left off. So, let's talk about what's happened since. 

I decided to take a different approach that just getting them used to each other. I needed to figure out how to work with their individual personalities. My goal was to get them both living in the large triple-decker enclosure. 

Since Cheerio is a calmer, less territorial one, I kept her in the large enclosure, while Pebbles stayed in Cheerio's previous home to get used to her scent. Pebbles is more territorial and less accepting of change. So, I was hoping that by having her live in Cheerio's old space, it would make her feel like more of a guest and less possessive of the space. 

Over the next couple of weeks, I let the two ladies interact in neutral territory a few more times. Unfortunately, with each encounter, Pebbles would become snarky and try and pick a fight. Luckily, Cheerio never retaliated. Instead, she'd just run away and go play somewhere else.

It wasn't going terrible, but it also wasn't going as well as I'd hoped. We weren't making any progress. 

That's when I had an idea! 

I put both chinchillas in crates, and then I moved the entire triple-decker enclosure into a completely different room. I then put in clean blankets, a whole bunch of new toys, and added fresh hay all around. This would make everything smell different, look different, sound different and be ripe for exploration.

I put both Cheerio and Pebbles in together and watched and waited. My hope was that by changing the environment drastically, Pebbles would be so distracted by all the stimuli that the only familiar thing would  be Cheerio. I crossed my fingers and hoped that Cheerio would be her safety net in her brand new world. 

And it worked! 

At first, Pebbles was over-stimulated by all the change, which is normal when an animal moves to a new home. She mostly hid, and examined her surroundings from the safety of her hut. I watched and waited for Cheerio to come near. 

Usually, Pebbles would react aggressively, barking or lunging at her. But, this time, because Pebbles was so distracted by everything else, when Cheerio came to say hello, she gave her a quick smell and turned to pay attention to something else. Cheerio was out to calmly explore all the new toys and munch the hay, but she frequently checked in with Pebbles over the next few hours. 

By that night, Pebbles had settled in and began exploring her new space. Since she already had positive interaction with Cheerio, she just accepted her presence as part of the new situation. 

Then, the best thing happened. They began grooming each other's faces; which is seriously the most significant behavior when introducing chinchillas. It signifies friendship and bonding. I was so happy! After a month of hoping and preparing, they're finally together, happy and socializing.

It's been a few weeks now that Cheerio and Pebbles have been living together. And it's really cute. They sometimes go to sleep together, both cramming into their little hut, or they both sit on or inside the ceramic (?~3:22).

Pebbles still prefers to hang out in hut on the bottom, and Cheerio loves hanging out on the top shelf, chewing up her toys. That's the beauty of having an enclosure with so much room. They can spend time apart or together, and they have lots of options of what to do and where to hang out. 

Chinchillas are social in the wild, so it was important to us to make sure all of their needs are being met in captivity. Giving them companionships makes them happier which makes me happier, too! 

Thank you for joining us on this chinchilla rescue saga. I hope that this happy ending makes you as happy as it makes all of us. 

If you'd like to give Pebbles a grass hut to hide in or give Cheerio a new toy to chew on, you can do that with our Amazon Wishlist: link is in the doobly-doo.

If you'd like to help us continue our mission of rescue and education, you can go to and become a monthly patron. 

And, if you'd like to go on an adventure with us every week, subscribe to our YouTube channel, AnimalWondersMontana. 

Thanks, and I'll see you next week!