Syrian Hamsters

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Syrian Hamsters

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:17 am

Little Teddy Bear

The Syrian Hamster is a very well-known member of the rodent subfamily Cricetinae, the hamsters. In the wild they are now considered an endangered species, but fortunately, they are popular as house pets around the world. The Syrian Hamster is sometimes referred to as the Golden Hamster due to its original wild golden coloring, although today there are many different color and coat mutations.

In 1839 British zoologist George Robert Waterhouse reportedly found an elderly female hamster in Syria and named it the Golden Hamster. It was then ignored by European science for the next century. In 1930, Israel Aharoni, a zoologist and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, captured a mother hamster and her litter of pups in Aleppo, Syria. The hamsters were bred in Jerusalem as laboratory animals. Some escaped from the cage through a hole in the floor, so that most of the Syrian Hamsters in Israel today are believed to be descended from this litter.

In the wild, the Syrian Hamster lives alone and is fiercely territorial, attacking any intruders or other hamsters it may be confronted with during its travels. In captivity, the Syrian Hamster’s solitary instinct prevails and once mature, it will not normally accept the company of another hamster. Therefore, Syrian Hamsteres should be housed separately once purchased in order to prevent injure – the ‘Golden’ rule is one hamster, one cage. Syrian Hamsters are wildly pipular as house pets due to their inquisitive nature, small size and relative ease of care.

The ideal home for a Syrian Hamster is a large wire cage with a plastic base no smaller than 60cm by 30cm floor space, by 30cm tall (higher if possible as they do enjoy climbing on different levels). Wood should be avoided as it absorbs urine and quickly becomes smelly and unhygenic. Dust-extracted shavings make good bedding for all types of hamsters, although some owners prefer to use sawdust for long-coated Angora to prevent shavings getting tangled in their hair. Hamsters can be litter trained, which helps keep their cage cleaner. Finally, it is worth remembering that hamsters are short sighted, so keep a close eye on yours if you let it ouf of the cage.

5 Fast Facts

The Syrian Hamster

Size

Adult Syrian Hamsters are about 12.5xm ro 17.5cm in length.

Average lifespan

Their lifespan is said to be between two to three yesr.

Personality

Docile, inquisitive and hardy.

Favourite activities

Because hamsters are highly active, they will enjoy a running wheel.

Tender Loving Care

Hamsters rarely bite if they are used to being handled correctly from an early age. Never put your hand into your hamster’s bed as the animal may be asleep and will be startled. Soon your hamster will get to know you and become easier to handle.

Source: clubpets your lifesty pet magazine

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