What the–?! According to Alysha, the pet store at Birkenhead Point is actually selling SQUIRRELS as pets. This blows my mind for several reasons.

  1. I have never, ever seen a squirrel in Australia. They are certainly not native, and I’ve never seen a feral one either. I would’ve thought they were illegal. Like hamsters.
  2. In the U.S. squirrels are, of course, very common. Yet I’ve never heard of anyone keeping one as a pet in a cage. That seems kind of cruel and pointless.
  3. They’re $1200+ each?!?!

I kinda want to visit the store now just to see them myself for the novelty factor.


Add yours →

  1. I was curious and searched a bit, it seems Indian Palm Squirrels are legal in Australia as pets, however you need a license to keep them, need to inform your local council etc

    They are bred out at a place called Berkshire Park Birdfarm, near Llandilo. *I think* the guy who owns that, has the only license in Australia for breeding the Squirrels. There is a small group of feral palm squirrels in and around Perth Zoo.

    The cages were pretty small for an animal so active. More of a bird cage really. While I was excited to see a real Squirrel (I must admit that) they need lots of room being so active, it does seem cruel.

  2. Wait, you can’t have hamsters in Australia?

  3. Hamsters are almost certainly illegal to import or own in Australia, as are gerbils. The reason being that they might escape and cause an environmental disaster (see rabbits).

  4. I always thought Hamsters = Gerbils = Guinea Pigs, but I guess not. Most small rodent-type things are interchangeable in my mind.

    There is a very small lobby trying to push for native animals to be accepted as pets. There’s an interesting podcast here http://www.abc.net.au/rn/backgroundbriefing/stories/2010/2860251.htm on the topic.

  5. Importing animals as pets is so wrong, on so many levels. Look what the possums did to NZ! As for keeping wild animals in a cage… even wronger. That’s one pet shop off my list.

  6. JulieK – fascinating link, thanks. I can see both sides of it. It’s not like cats or sheep are going to go extinct anytime soon. But those animals have been domesticated for thousands of years. It seems strange to me to think you can just turn a native animal into a pet by putting it in someone’s house.

    Of course, now Rodd will start clamouring for a pet sugar glider…

  7. I want a pet sugar glider!

  8. I was going to comment on the whole sugar glider thing… but yeah. Late to the party!

  9. oooh sugar glider! I always did wonder about those squirrels running around Perth Zoo – I just thought we must have a native-type squirrel i never heard of.

Comments are closed.