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Chinchillas have the thickest fur of any land animal - and because of this they were hunted to near extinction for their pelts.

About chinchillas

Common NameChinchilla
Scientific NameChinchilla lanigera
Native toSouth America - found only in Chile
Natural HabitatDry, rocky or sandy mountain habitats
DietMostly grasses and seeds, but sometimes also other vegetation.
Life ExpectancyAround 10 years
Conservation StatusCritically Endangered (3.1)

About our chinchillas

We have 6 chinchillas on display.

How we care for our chinchillas

Our chinchillas are housed in a large enclosure in our nocturnal zone.

Their exhibit is kept on a reverse light cycle, with red lighting and a few white light 'moonlight' spot lights during the day, and full lighting overnight.

Their enclosure has artificial rockwork to create a complex and varied environment.

The chinchillas are fed a pelleted diet made especially for chinchillas, with occasional vegetables as a treat.

How you can help chinchillas

Chinchillas are Critically Endangered in the wild due to hunting for their fur. To reduce this threat you can make sure you never buy chinchilla fur items.

Chinchillas are now widely available as pets - but if you do buy a chinchilla as a pet remember that they need a large home, lots of play at night time, when they are active, a special diet and they do not usually like too much handling - they aren't generally keen on cuddles! If you want an easy to care for 'cuddly' pet there are better choices!