As many know I change around the gerbils layout every couple weeks. I put the burrowing box back in and filled it with substrate and did a few inches throughout the rest of the tank with a lot of hideaways to see what they would do with that. They love the hideaways. If they aren’t in the topper chewing up cardboard and eating then they are climbing around the driftwood and on top and inside the hideaways and pausing to watch us like little “creepers” I affectionately call them.
But a new thing is sleeping by the front of the glass where they know we see them and where my kids play right beside. They still aren’t gerbils that like to be held so I still don’t try to but they are tamer in that they feel absolutely safe and content sleeping somewhat exposed to us!
I snapped photos of them from a couple separate days because I thought watching them sleep was so cute. I wasn’t used to being able to see them when they sleep.
Keep in mind I usually have at least 7 inches substrate but this time they have about 12 inches in a burrowing box. Like I said I do change things around and like to give them the job of making their own substrate from hay and cardboard for stimulation in natural behaviors.
A week ago for the very first time I had a loose gerbil. And I was very fortunate. I have been waiting to see if there was vulnerability in the design of the topper door. The door because it’s steel mesh and the topper is mesh there is a little warping. And so there was a gap even when fastened shut. Mercury discovered this apparently.
We were watching a program on TV and then I saw a rapid movement and a blur of black and knew immediately that it was Mercury. That was also when I noticed Lennon frantically digging and jumping about the tank and topper. He was searching for his brother!
I yelped out “loose gerbil!” And immediately closed off the area where I knew he was.
I eventually coaxed him into a large plastic cup and put him back. He seemed so relieved to be returned and Lennon was over the moon to have his buddy back. Mercury went immediately to his food bowl. I have no idea how long he was out if long at all. The last time I saw him was the evening before or maybe that morning. They have been lazier lately and so it wasn’t unusual for me not to notice during the day. They become most active around late afternoon and early evening currently.
I am just relieved because he was in an area with a lot of electrical wires and could have chews them. And I don’t trust that my dog wouldn’t kill him. I would have been heartbroken.
Needless to say I have adjusted the security of their topper door.