Exotic Pets - Gerbil - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. I am Beth Randall and I am the director at Critter Camp Exotic Pet Sanctuary and this is a gerbil. Gerbils are native to India, Asia and Africa. The pet gerbils we have in the United States are actually Mongolian gerbils that came over in the 50's to be laboratory animals. Gerbils are often a first pet for people to get when their children are young. Gerbils can be somewhat friendly and handleable. Sometimes they can be very skiddish and bitey as well so you have to be careful to get a good tempermented gerbil maybe that is been handled from birth. Make sure that you check that out. They live about 3 to 5 years. They are very fast. So if you drop your gerbil you are going to have to really chase that gerbil around. They can occasionally be kept together. Sometimes a pair of boys will be fine together. Three or four girls can be together in a cage if they have plenty of room. Gerbils do chew everything. They are a rodent and so they wlll chew through parts of their cage if it is plastic. So you want to keep them in either a metal cage or with a flat bottom or in a very very large aquarium with good ventilation. And lots of things to chew like boxes, toliet paper tubes, that kind of thing. They should have a small animal mix for their food, preferably a high quality mix with some timothy pellets in it and maybe some timothy hay to chew on as well. They need a metal wheel to run on because they are very fast and needs lots of exercise so that they can run around and get some of that exercise out. And you can take your gerbil out and handle him a little bit like this and make sure you have him good and supported. Never grab your gerbil by the tail. That is very dangerous for them. But as with all pets, if they are a child's pet, the adult always needs to be supervisiing the handling to make sure that no one neither the child or the pet gets hurt and does it appropriately. So gerbils can be a nice little starter pet as long as you know they can be very fast and wiggily and possibly a little bit bitey and that they have certain needs like that so it is important to do all your research and make sure that it is something that you want to get. Gerbils are also a desert animal and so they do have a much lower urine output than a lot of the small pets so that makes them more popular as well.