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:
YouTube - Short tailed opossum eating
Richardson's (sometimes refered to as "prairie gophers")
YouTube - GOPHERS - CITELLI - WWW.PETVIDEO.EU