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The Chinchilla Squad loved their first climbing wall so much, we made them two more! We can't get enough of how cute they all are!

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Go to CuriosityStream.com/animalwonders to start streaming thousands of documentaries and nonfiction TV shows. Hello and welcome back to Animal Wonders!

I’m Jessi and this is Chex the chinchilla. We love enriching the lives of the animals in our care. And when it came to finding ways to keep our active and curious chinchillas happy, we got creative!

We set them up in a 16x12 room and built them climbing adventure structures up and down the walls! [CHEERY INTRO MUSIC] We are in the Romping Room which is a temperature controlled dirt floored space and the home of our four rescued chinchillas: Cheerio,. Pebbles, Chex, and Kix. Also known as the Chinchilla Squad.

The chinchillas also share this space with two large Patagonian cavies, Cayenne and Chili. Pepper, and the herd of guinea pigs. All of our chinchillas were rehomed to Animal Wonders from different situations: Cheerio was a previous pet who was an impulse purchase.

The previous owner didn’t realize how active chinchillas were and quickly realized they couldn’t provide for her. Pebbles was dropped off at a local pet shop that was closing down. We got a call because she was struggling to find a home in time because of her older age and grumpy personality.

Chex was discarded from a private breeder after they had an abrupt life change. She’s had at least 7 previous litters. And Kix is Chex’s daughter from her last litter who was closely bonded to her mother and also needed an immediate home.

Cheerio and Pebbles were initially introduced and bonded, and then they were introduced to Chex and Kix in the Romping Room almost a year ago. Since then, the Chinchilla Squad has been doing amazing together, and I can’t get over how awesome it’s been to see how they have thrived since moving into the Romping. Room.

When we initially prepared this space for the chinchillas, we didn’t know how they would do full time with the Patagonian cavies. Cayenne and Chili Pepper are very gentle and friendly with the other small animals they’ve met, like guinea pigs and rabbits. But Chili Pepper likes to lick and groom little ears and can love on his little friends a little too much sometimes.

And since chinchilla fur doesn’t do well being groomed like that, we built this climbing wall so if needed, the chinchillas would have a place to completely get away from the cavies if they wanted. The chinchillas also have a separate feeding area for their chinchilla specific diet and separate water access. I was pleasantly surprised with how much the chinchillas enjoyed the shelves and branches.

And ever since I saw how much they loved it, I’ve wanted to expand on the climbing wall. And we finally did it! Just look at what we’ve been able to do!

We added a section on this wall here. With a ramp from the cement foundation going up to a series of shelves and a fun branch to climb over to access this other shelf. They climb up here nibble on hay.

They speed along this top shelf, but the branch is a little tricky, which is great because it adds variety and keeps them on their toes. And the newest addition went up on this wall just recently. What makes me the happiest about this project, is seeing how quickly the chinchillas took to using the new structures to play.

Sometimes it can take animals a bit of time to get used to new objects in their home, but as soon as we got the adventure course up, the chinchillas were exploring them. We find footprints and plenty of poop on all of these shelves daily, which means they’re getting lots of use! We put bunches of hay on different shelves every day, and it’s easy to make little additions or changes or hide new toys around.

It’s always a chaotic mess when we come back in, because they’ve had so much fun getting into everything. These little fluff balls might look cute and innocent, but they are definitely mischievous and love to explore. Chinchillas are wonderful little rodents with personalities as diverse as humans.

Cheerio and Chex are definitely the most outgoing. Chex is usually the first to come and see what we’re doing. She will literally climb onto a shelf as we’re installing it.

Cheerio is more patient and will wait until we’re done, but then she immediately gives it a thorough nibble. It must be like a chew test. If it’s good enough to chew, then it’s good enough to jump on.

Kix is more reserved and will eventually follow her mother’s lead and give the new things a chance. But her favorite place to hang out is still the original climbing wall. And Pebbles, our little old lady has approved of all of it.

She likes to sit and nibble on the hay and chew toys out here in the evening, but she’s actually taken to hanging out with the guinea pig herd for most of the day. Now as pets, chinchillas are often kept in wire enclosures and some have multiple layers, but I’d say that most of them are too small to give them a full life. Seeing them utilizing this entire space and engaging fully in every accessible space, really makes me want to advocate for larger and more enriching homes for all chinchillas kept in captivity.

Chinchillas are considered crepuscular, meaning they’re most active at dawn and dusk in the wild. They do have long periods of time where they cozy up and sleep, but when they’re active, they’re really active, and they need a large area to run, jump, chew, and play. It’s been such a gift to be able to offer these four a completely different life than what they experienced in their past.

And watching them flourish has been an absolute joy! If you’d like to send the Chinchilla Squad some love, you can find hay, food, and a variety of toys on our wishlist. The link is in the description!

Now chinchillas live in the Andes Mountains in South America, and I was curious about what other kinds of wildlife live in that region, which is why I recently checked out this documentary on CuriosityStream called. Bucket

List: South America. From the Andes Mountains to the Amazon Rainforest to the Galápagos, the documentary covers a number of animals you can find in the wild in South America. It includes animals you may have seen before like capybaras and hammerhead sharks, as well as others that are unique to that area, like guanacos and Andean condors. The footage is beautiful, and I especially loved learning about the marine iguanas!

Did you know they can stay submerged underwater for half an hour? You can find the documentary on CuriosityStream, who is the sponsor of today’s video. They’re a subscription streaming service that offers thousands of documentaries and nonfiction titles from some of the world’s best filmmakers, including exclusive originals.

It’s smart TV for your SmartTV, with topics like History, Nature, Science, Food, Technology,. Travel, and more. A subscription to CuriosityStream is just $14.99 for the whole YEAR.

To sign up, go to curiositystream.com/animalwonders and use the promo code “AnimalWonders” during the sign-up process. Thanks for watching! If you enjoyed learning about these cuties and would like to continue learning about how we’re caring for the animal rescues at Animal Wonders, be sure to subscribe and we’ll see you soon!

Bye! [BOLD OUTRO MUSIC]