Status: Critically Endangered
Range & Habitat
Rocky, mountainous areas of the Andes Mountains in Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and North Chile.
Reproduction & Growth
Sexual maturity is reached in as little as six months. The average female can mate up to three times a year and has an average of 1-4 babies in each litter. Full-grown, their body is 81/2-15 inches, and their tails are 3-6 inches long.
In the Wild: Any vegetation they can find. In the Zoo: Chinchilla food.
Since Inca times, chinchillas have been hunted for their valuable fur. It takes 50 individuals to make one fur coat. Chinchillas are now bred for their fur to take pressure off the few remaining wild populations. They have more hair per square inch than any other animal. They have enlarged hind limbs for jumping and are extremely fast and elusive. Chinchillas are almost extinct in the wild.