Anyone know anything about gerbils?

  1. We have had gerbils for a while now and things have always been good.

    Back in December, we went out and adopted 2 male gerbils from the local pet store. they were the same age and I was told, from the same litter. Though, I am not sure about that since they were very different types. Anyway, they had been living together in the same cage at the pet store along with other gerbils.

    Last night, i found one of them dead in the tank. it was shocking especially since neither of them had shown to be sick and they are both young! i would say about 4 months old. The most shocking part was the condition of the dead gerbil-it was quite gory and revolting to say the least.

    Now, i am not sure if the surviving gerbil "murdered' the dead one or, if the dead one had been in the tank for a while before I noticed and the surviving one went a bit cannibalistic on it. Either way, I am creeped out. any ideas people?
  2. Sorry about your gerbil! Sadly, I have some experience with the little guys.
    Years ago, my sister and I got two gerbils who were supposed to be the same gender...they weren't and proceeded to have about twenty babies!!
    The males would often fight-- especially the father and sons.
    I would ask someone at the pet store for advice and see what they say. Maybe just keep your one gerbil alone and give him plenty of toys and things to burrow and chew.
  3. I am thinking it might have been a problem because they were both boys and that they ended up fighting and the smaller one lost. :sad:

    I am also thinking there is no way I am putting another gerbil in there with him-he can live a bachelor life-LOL! years ago we had 1 gerbil who lived for about 3 years by herself and seemed perfectly happy with it.
  4. Gross! My little brother had two male gerbils and they lived happily together for like 4 years almost. Maybe one died naturally and the other just started picking at it? But to be safe I wouldn't put a new one in there either! Hope your kids weren't too grossed out by that!! Yuck.
  5. It really wouldn't be natural for the other gerbil to cannibalize the dead gerbil, particularly if there was plenty of food available. Also, if he had eaten the gerbil after he died, there wouldn't be so much blood, so my guess is that they fought and the little guy lost. Based on the age, I would guess they were reaching sexual maturity and were fighting for dominance. I wouldn't put another gerbil in the cage with it. Solitary gerbils can live happy lives provided you interact with it each day.
  6. gerbils and hamsters are not really supposed to live together...they just prefer to be alone...or so I heard
  7. ^^Actually. gerbils are very social creatures and everything you read about them says they do better living in pairs.

    And, thanks everyone for the input. I too think it was a fight and not cannabilization. the one that is still alive was bigger than the other guy-it's just sad. I am definitely not putting another gerbil in with him-he seems to be doing fine. he has his wheel and I am going to buy him another house and such. I think I was more grossed out by it than my son-i still shudder at the thought and can barely look at this one.