Syria! The kind of hamster most often kept as a pet is the Syrian or golden hamster. They’re endangered in the wild, which is to my mind one more very good reason for the US not to wage war on Syria. Our tiny, furry brethren need our protection. Do we want to see the majestic and elusive wild hamster go extinct?
Apparently almost all pet hamsters today are descendants of just one litter captured in the wild in 1931.
In the beginning of the 20th century, the Syrian golden hamster was considered to be virtually extinct in the wild by unknown reason until Professor Aharoni collected one female and her 12 broods in Aleppo. After that some later sightings and captures were reported. Since the 1980s this species was not seen in the wild, until two expeditions were carried out during September 1997 and March 1999 to confirm the current existence of the wild golden hamster in northern Syria. The researchers mapped 30 burrows. None of the inhabited burrows contained more than one adult. They caught six females and seven males. One female was pregnant and gave birth to six pups. All these 19 caught wild golden hamsters, together with three wild individuals from the University of Aleppo, were shipped to Germany to form a new breeding stock.
For more hamster cuteness than you can possibly handle, go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/seattle_roll/sets/640398/
Also, as always, try Cute Overload.
For hamster info, go here: http://www.hamster-care.com/ This photo is from the hamster care site.