Does anyone have a Richardson's ground squirrel or brazilian short tailed opossum? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-30-2007, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone have a Richardson's ground squirrel or brazilian short tailed opossum?

We are thinking about purchasing either a pair of Richardson's ground squirrels or one brazilian short tailed opossum. We've been researching both, and they have very different personalities. We like both, for different reasons, and are having trouble deciding which we want. I was wondering if anyone here owns, or has ever owned, either one.

We were planning on purchasing a STO when we return home from our trip next week, but they are actually cheaper here. The same place sells Richardsons, which is how we came to learn about them. We are in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and met a lady who works for the park service rehabilitating animals. She was there to purchase some Richardson's ground squirrels. I overheard her talking to the store owner. Right after the prairie dog ban, she learned that a local store here had 9 that they were about to "exterminate" because they were no longer legal to sell. She convinced them to wait. After getting a permit with the USDA and the Dept of Agriculture, she was able to get all 9 of them. I've always wanted a PD, but can't due to the ban. The reason she wanted to buy some Richardson's ground squirrels is because she loves her PDs and the Richardson's are a close relative with similiar personalities.

Richardsons prefer to live in pairs or groups, but a pair costs only $30 more than one STO, so cost is not an issue. They are very social. They can be handled and interacted with, but are more active that STOs. STOs, on the other hand, are solitary animals, but are more easy to cuddle with because they are not as active. Many STO owners carry them around in sugar glider pouches.

So... a fun to watch, active pair that can be held, but only for short periods because they would rather play, or a quieter, less interesting to watch single animal that I can cuddle with. It is a very tough choice.

If anyone owns either, I would love to hear your thoughts.

For those who have never heard of them and are curious, pics are here:

STO:
YouTube - Short tailed opossum eating

Richardson's (sometimes refered to as "prairie gophers")

YouTube - GOPHERS - CITELLI - WWW.PETVIDEO.EU

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-30-2007, 11:33 PM
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I haven't had either of them but want them both too, haha!

I think I'd go with the Richardson's Ground Squirrels because they are more intelligent and can learn how to use a litterbox, come when called, etc. But I really love both...

I'd probably want to meet some of both species in real life before deciding . But considering neither is sold around here that probably won't happen.




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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-31-2007, 08:45 AM
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Aww I want both too!

Personally, if I had to choose one I would probably go for the STO because I just looooove to cuddle with my pets. I would love a tiny little pet that I can carry around with me and just have it hang out in a pouch or my pocket or something.

I think the ground squarrels are cuter though. And I bet it would be fun to watch them play.

What are the lifespans on the two diffrent animals? I would take that into account when choosing too.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-31-2007, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Lifespan of both is about the same at 3-4 years. However, Richardson's ground squirrels go into hibernation in the wild, but can't in captivity. Lack of hibernation can cause some health problems that will shorten their life span. I've ready reports of Richardson's living a year or less, but I've also read of some people who didn't have any problems with the hibernation issues.

Momma to three pups:

Ein, Pembroke Welsh Corgi (black headed tri) born 7/12/2004
Tucker, golden colored lab mix, rescue - est dob fall 2004
Colleen rough collie (sable and white), rescue - est dob: 2003-2004
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2007, 11:11 AM
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They're adorable! I love the opossums...what and how much do the opossums eat? And where do you plan on getting one from?
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-03-2007, 09:48 PM
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I heard of both,but don't know alot.I would personally choose the STO tho,because to me they are cuter.Plus I like animals that will cuddle.




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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 05:05 AM
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I've had experience with both, and I prefer the Richardson's. It was over a year ago when I had my STO pair, but after they died I decided not to get more. I got my Richardson pair several weeks ago, and I just adore them.

Richardson's are diurnal meaning they're active during the day. This is also my schedule so I'm able to give them lots of attention when they need it most. Their diet is grasses and hays which is easy to find and keeps well. Because of their diet there's not an odor like there is with STO's. Being squirrels they are highly intelligent, very social and form a lifelong bond with you. There are drawbacks, but very few. It's been said that because they do not hibernate in captivity their life span is only 3-4 years which is untrue. If properly cared for they can live as long as prairie dogs do. I have friends who's Richardson's are 7, 9 and 10 years old.

They're wonderful! I've seen where they're said to be a mini pd, but they are not at all like prairie dogs. My Richardson's are very sweet, but no animal is as incredible like a prairie dog. Prairie dogs are so special and well worth what's required to adopt them.

It all depends on what you're looking for in a animal, and what you're able to give. No matter which one you choose I'm sure you'll be happy.

Best of luck & God Bless!!!

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 09:57 AM
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I was actually at a local pet store the day before yesterday and they had four Richardson's ground squirrels. One of them was quite vocal and did not want to be touched much, two of them were indifferent to anything going on, and the last one was absolutely sweet and adorable. I had heard of them before going, but never actually seen them before.

The sociable one was great - I would put my hand down there, he would let me stroke him on the head, he would climb up my arm and sit on my shoulder. It was great fun, he was very sweet.

On an off topic note, they also had a baby lemur that I got to hold - he had a diaper on

Anyway, the squirrels were price at 129.99 each. I know this doesn't help much, but I thought I'd share my story.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4)

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-09-2007, 08:09 PM
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Ehm... the STO should not be kept in pairs....

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-12-2007, 10:06 PM
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Well... an unexpected update to my previous posts.

Apparently my sister had been researching ground squirrels for quite some time and was pretty happy when I told her they had them at the store. So guess what.

That's right, she got one. Go figure - that's what I get for not talking to my sister much. It's an adorable little thing. Anyway, I'll get pics of it sometime soon.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Corinthians 13:4)

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 04:23 PM
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:O
Adorable.
I want some.

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 12-01-2007, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sasami View Post
I haven't had either of them but want them both too, haha!

I think I'd go with the Richardson's Ground Squirrels because they are more intelligent and can learn how to use a litterbox, come when called, etc. But I really love both...

I'd probably want to meet some of both species in real life before deciding . But considering neither is sold around here that probably won't happen.
STO's can also be trained to use a litterbox.
I plan on getting an STO but I have to wait for a little while because I'm at my limit for animals right now. I like pets I can hold.


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 12:42 PM
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We've had our two RGS for around 6 months now, and although I like them and will care for them their whole lives, I wouldn't purchase them again.

One of the squirrels is great. She's very friendly and you can "sort of" handle her - pick her up and pet her, but she still isn't comfortable with being handled. I handle her every day, but I think it's her brother that continues to enforce her wild behaviours.

Her brother, I'm afraid, is a complete lost cause at this point. Since day one he's been extremely skiddish and does bite out of fear. Although he will come up and investigate you, you can't even touch him. We tried handling him, but he managed to chew through welder's gloves and tag my Fiance very deeply on the finger. All he will do is obsessively run on his wheel and smell your finger.

When feeding them treats, she will gently take them out of your fingers, but he will lunge at you aggressively for the treats. She's slowly picking up the bad habit too.


It makes me sad because she has a lot of potential, but as long as he is the way he is, I'm afraid she'll be just as wild.
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