Chinchillas in Popular Media

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Gemma

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I'm not sure if anyone is a fan of "reality tv" or not, but I am a "tryer" of new shows myself. So, I was just watching a new series "Blood Sweat, and Heels" on the Bravo channel. Early into the pilot, I was shocked to see a chinchilla on a popular show! Was pretty exciting.

Please youtube "Blood Sweat Heels Chinchilla Rocky" and take a view of him yourself.

I was wondering what the dedicated chinchilla community views are on this slight protrayal of a "cuddly and cute new star" and its future exposure?
You think this is a positive thing, or negative?

My only comment to the owner's comment of "I only have the finest things" about owning a chinchilla: this scares me. I know the market value of chinchilla fur is high in $ (---->x.x), however a chinchilla as a pet is far from luxurious! It’s a lot of poop, patience, love, and attention. Rewarding, but as a victim of misleading “care instructions” not all people are willing to commit to such a "high maintenance mind of its own" sort of animal.

Please let me know what you think!
 

ticklechin

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So wrong on so many levels, that video. That said, rather see the chinchilla in a adult show rather than a kids movie-my worst nightmare is a chin star of a animated movie for kids.
 

Gemma

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That is a very good point, but children are dependant on their parents to purchase a pet.

This show's target market is young adults, like myself, who are pressed for time, immature, naive in ways; yet have the purchasing power to get "a chinchilla must-have".

It's hard depicting who is more dangerous.
 

ChinChiq

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Niagara Falls, NY, USA
This show's target market is young adults, like myself, who are pressed for time, immature, naive in ways; yet have the purchasing power to get "a chinchilla must-have".

I see this being a potential for chinchillas ending up in very bad situations. Like Gemma mentioned above, the target audience for this show has the means to get a chinchilla on their own, they are not children who are dependent on mom or dad to get one for them. The fact that this video shows a chinchilla drinking wine, bouncing around the apartment and being described as "loving to be held and cuddled" is surely going to result in at least some impulse purchases. I just hope that "Rocky" doesn't get too much screen time, even though he is super cute!
 

ticklechin

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Valid points but I don't think there will be Rocky action figures, back packs, lunch boxes, t-shirts etc that get kids whining for the pet.
 

Nerk

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It's an adorable chin, I'll say that.
But I agree with everyone else, it's not an accurate portrayal of owning a pet chinchilla. Even with it being an adult show I'm afraid some younger-adults will think, "Oh this seems like a nice cuddly low maintenance pet I can show off to my friends" and run to the nearest persmart and get a chin. And sadly I know a few who would do this. I'm not saying all young adults will do this, me being in that range myself, but media influences people so much at times :(... I just wish people would research and actually know what they're committing to before purchasing.
Example: There was a woman at work who came up to me one day and asked if I owned chinchillas, which I of course replied yes. She went on to tell me how she was thinking of getting two for her family because they seemed so cute and friendly, she was planning on calling the owner that night. So she asked me basic questions such as how much I've spent on my girls, how old they live to be, how much daily care is required, let's just say she not getting chinchillas anymore...especially when she mentioned she was looking at adopting males and I brought up the hair rings.
 

ticklechin

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The chick Mica on the show that has Rocky seems to know how long it is, wonder if she knows she is supposed to check it for hair rings, I should send her a video.
 

akane

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North Liberty, IA
Petstores don't card children. By junior high (12 years old) my mom told me I could have whatever I could keep in my room and my sister and I had credit cards which connected to my mom's card so she just got sent a compiled bill and we didn't have to be 18 to get it in our name. That allowed us to buy anything we wanted as teenagers provided we could find someone to drive us in to town or have it delivered. We had 20 guinea pigs, then I bred gerbils for awhile and my sister bred dwarf hamsters, I packed 4 various size fish tanks in to my room just sitting on the floor, duprasi, back to more guinea pigs, debated sugar gliders at the end of highschool but the cage and animal purchase combined was too much money to go unnoticed by my mom... It would have been quite easy to buy a large guinea pig/rabbit cage and chinchilla if the petstores around here carried them.
 

Gemma

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Exactly,
I think media is only good when it pertains to the education of an animal like a chinchilla. But its always a two way street, even though the knowledge is out there, for example of owning a cat/dog...people still want...buy...and then realize for themselves it is too much.

I will continue to watch this show, and hopefully Rocky doesn't drink too much. On the bright side - he is loved, which puts him in a slightly better situation than other chinchillas.

The hair rings? I doubt she knows about that, when she was about to speak about the "length" of Rocky's manlyhood - I was thinking she was going to speak about the hair rings! ..... then I was let down. x)
 

EternallyCynical

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That is a very good point, but children are dependant on their parents to purchase a pet.

This show's target market is young adults, like myself, who are pressed for time, immature, naive in ways; yet have the purchasing power to get "a chinchilla must-have".

It's hard depicting who is more dangerous.


I can't watch the video yet since I'm at school and the internet doesn't support streaming very well, but I would say that I AM far more relieved that there aren't any chinchilla characters aimed at kids. While kids are dependent on their parents, kids are also PERSUASIVE (read: super annoying until they get what they want) and not all parents (like any demographic, I suppose.. there will always be some impulsive and uneducated...) are smart enough to actually do their research before buying an animal. They assume that if its small and fuzzy and cute, of COURSE its friendly and perfectly happy to tolerate being poked and prodded at by their toddler/young child. That, or any information they GET is from the workers at the pet store when they just come in to 'research' and buy animal and everything else all at once. And while there are knowledgeable pet store workers out there, many can't adequately inform people of the commitment they're about to make. I remember very clearly being in a pet store looking at guinea pig supplies one day a good few years back when a dad came in with his kid, who looked to be.... ooooooh, maybe five or six? And this kid was running all over the place and the parent just let him, and then told him "So which one do you want, a bunny or a cat?" (this was before this particular store stopped selling cats). It was pretty clear that the dad was leaving the whole decision up to whatever it was his kid wanted and that 'research' probably hadn't been done. I was sort of inwardly cringing because I could tell the kid was a rowdy one and around here, we have SUCH a high rate of rabbits winding up in shelters (and something like 90% of them wind up in shelters less than a year after being purchased...) specifically because people go buy them for their kids and don't realize what kind of commitment they're taking on. The kid gets bored of it or the rabbit 'has behavioural issues' (wont stop biting, pees everywhere, etc...) when in reality, these 'behavioural issues' are more often than not caused by improper handling/socialization or the animal not being spayed/neutered. I remember when that movie G-Force came out, and suddenly EVERY kid wanted a guinea pig, which led to a lot of parents in pet stores buying guinea pigs and keeping them in cages that were way too small, on inappropriate food, etc. The number of guinea pigs in rescues and shelters went up after this buying boom too, because so many were eventually unwanted and discarded. Not saying that the same thing can't happen with young adults, but with kids, its not uncommon for the less responsible parents to just buy their kid the pet unquestioningly and then not properly teach or supervise their kid to make sure its cared for. The fact that chinchillas themselves tend to be more expensive to purchase might shield them from damage somewhat, but in affluent areas where there are a lot of spoiled kids whose parents are happy to give them whatever they want to keep them occupied, I can easily see a chinchilla character targeted at kids being a major issue...
 

Gemma

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The fact that chinchillas themselves tend to be more expensive to purchase might shield them from damage somewhat,...

Yes! Yes! That is a chinchilla's greatest defense. But then again, I went to a Petco - just to look around and BAM
"Hey miss, I might have something in the back for you, $50 - 3 chinchillas."

1 male, 2 females. I was set up for disaster, but I accepted responsibility and spent the $$ for the wellbeing of my chinchillas, whilst my ex wanted to be cheap and "breed" them for more cash. (heartattack).

But my point is... there's a chinchilla black market out there :hmm:
 

EternallyCynical

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Yes! Yes! That is a chinchilla's greatest defense. But then again, I went to a Petco - just to look around and BAM
"Hey miss, I might have something in the back for you, $50 - 3 chinchillas."

1 male, 2 females. I was set up for disaster, but I accepted responsibility and spent the $$ for the wellbeing of my chinchillas, whilst my ex wanted to be cheap and "breed" them for more cash. (heartattack).

But my point is... there's a chinchilla black market out there :hmm:

D: That's HORRIBLE! Not that you took these and looked after them, of course, but.... black market in chinchillas, yeah.... not good... not good at ALL. .~. I can see how someone less knowledgeable in a similar situation would wind up with a lot of little surprises or might be inclined to just become a 'breeder' like that for money, which would just lead to more chins in unsuitable homes... >.O
 

chinchillachris

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I found that video from that reality show a little disturbing. First of all, most chinchillas prefer to run a around and play, most of them are not known to sit nicely and cuddle like the woman says. And second of all, who lets their chinchilla sample wine?
 
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Nerk

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Breeding for the money? What I've heard is that a lot of breeders who actually breed quality chins don't turn over that big of a profit. I could be mistaken.
 

Gemma

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Breeding for the money? What I've heard is that a lot of breeders who actually breed quality chins don't turn over that big of a profit. I could be mistaken.

Chinchillas are expensive to maintain... so before breeding for a pet supply, a normal venture would consider the variable risks/fixed costs. And I don't think are mistaken at all, just summarizing the margin looks grim.

...but the idea to "breed for money" came from a person you'd never want to work with.
 

EternallyCynical

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Breeding for the money? What I've heard is that a lot of breeders who actually breed quality chins don't turn over that big of a profit. I could be mistaken.

It wouldn't surprise me if there wasn't much profit in proper chinchilla breeding since appropriate environments, food, and vet care are EXPENSIVE. But I can see where someone who just picked up a couple of chins on a whim from Sketchy Joe in his run down trailer (or similar situation, i'm being very vague and metaphorical here) might think 'hey, these things sell for over a hundred bucks each, I can breed them and sell off the babies for a lot of money'. People like that aren't likely to incur as much cost in terms of upkeep because they're negligent/out to make profit/uninformed and would be cutting corners or doing sort of bare minimum to reduce cost (poor caging, poor food, little/no vet care, etc).

Don't know if that makes sense? The closest comparison I can think of would be the difference between a puppy mill and a high-end dog breeder. The puppy mill sells a lot of 'purebred' dogs for the high price that people assume just come with buying a 'purebred' dog while cutting costs by keeping their dogs in constant production in poor conditions.

People who try to breed chins for money may stop if/when they realize there's not much real money to be had, but I can see where it would cross someone's mind to try to profit somehow. There are always people out there who will try and exploit any form of life that they can for money, and if you don't have a lot of space, a low-budget chin breeding 'operation' is likely to seem more promising than trying to breed, say, hamsters, which maybe sell for ten bucks.
 

Alatrye

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So I was reading through this forum about Chinchillas on TV and it relates a little bit to a conversation I had at work:

I was just leaving to go home for the day and was talking to a co-worker before I walked out the door. I mentioned my Chinchilla and a customer overheard me. He asked me about how to take care of one and I let him know that it can be quite a challenge and it's not for everyone. He then told me that his little daughter (under the age of 10 I'd imagine) wanted to get one because she saw one on Dora the Explorer; his only thought was trying to find out where to get one... I'm not sure if he Would get one, but I hope that IF he does, that it will be Cared for responsibly; not just as an object to just keep his little girl quiet. (I read a few posts about how our fellow Members would Not want Chinchillas to be in a Kids Cartoon show due to kids then wanting one and this was a slight confirmation of that argument.)

Here is the video I managed to find on YouTube, showing a brief segment of the Chinchilla (also I didn't like how they were portraying it);
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otEDtxrG4sg
 

Gemma

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wanted to get one because she saw one on Dora the Explorer;

This is my nightmare coming true...

Chinchillas are like goldfish. They say, the fish will grow with the bowl and be fine. No, their internal organs just shut down, one by one in a painful slow death because they are unable to grow.

In this "petstore market"
So will chinchillas ...so will chinchillas.
I'm sure you all know.
 

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