Washington DC, A to Z: Degu at the Zoo

I’ve already posted about the Meerkats we saw at the Smithsonian’s National  Zoo and now here for the letter D is a picture of a degu.

One of the Zoo’s female Degus. The males are kept “behind-the-scenes

This was the first time I had seen a degu, so I decided to do some quick research.

Facts about the degu:

  • It is the most common mammal in Chile.
  • It has a body length  of 9.8–12.2 inches and a weight of 6.0 to 10.6 ounces.
  • If it is caught by its tail it can spin until its tail comes off and escape. It can only do this once because its tail will never grow back.
  • It is a very intelligent and social animal and is active during the day.
  • It eats the same kind of diet as a rabbit (and like a rabbit eats its poop).
  • Degus are becoming more common as a pets in the United States  but  are illegal to own in California, Georgia, and Alaska.
The degus arrived at the Smithsonian’s National  Zoo just this January. For some very cute pictures, check out this post from facebook.

I realize that many people dislike zoo’s but if you don’t fall into that category the National Zoo is a great place to spend a morning or afternoon. If you plan on visiting, here are a few tips:

  • As part of the Smithsonian, it is free to visit the zoo.
  • You are allowed to bring in your own food and (non alcoholic) beverages.
  • It’s huge with more than 400 different species of animals.  I have no idea how anyone could see the entire zoo in one day.
  • The zoo is on a hill with the main, Woodley Park, entrance at the highest point.

If you like animal pictures,  click on the picture below to see the weekly posts at Camera Critters

Camera Critters


8 thoughts on “Washington DC, A to Z: Degu at the Zoo

  1. They are really cute in the same way that gerbils are really cute. The tail falling off could be very upsetting to a child not to mention the Degu. Maybe someone should write a children's book about a degu. There is certainly enough featuring mice.


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