WHAT ARE CHINCHILLAS?
Although there are tons of chinchillas
living in pet stores, zoos and people's homes many
people still don't know what a chinchilla is. The
fact is that they are rodents. The world Cinchilla
means "little chinta" given to them by Indians in
their area. They are originally from the South American
countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru
and live in the high altitudes of the Andes Mountains.
They were brought to the United States in 1918 at
M.F. Chapman was on a working trip to Chile and
saw his first chinchilla. He gathered a part of
20 men with him and they went to work catching as
many of these creatures as possible. But they were
near extinction at the time because of excessive
trapping for their pelts. They caught 11 Chinchillas
over 3 years. It took 12 months to bring these down
the mountains of Chile and all of the them survived
the temperature changes. By the mid 60's there were
thousands of chins in the United States and Canada.