Native to South America in Peru and Chile as well as being a household pet, Chinchillas are part of the rodent family and are listed as a critically endangered species. Slightly larger that squirrels, Chinchillas for many years have been hunted for their incredibly soft fur to make clothing such as coats and have as a result become limited in number in recent years. This is shown by a 90% loss on a global scale in last 15 years. Their numbers have dropped so substantially because of their small size, and the amount of animals that are needed to make one coat. In their natural habitat Chinchillas live under rocks in order to hide from predators such as snakes and birds of prey, and feed on plants, fruit, nuts and insects. Living in herds, Chinchillas can mate any time of the year and often have two in a litter which still limits their number greatly. Although many chinchillas are still unfortunately bred for their fur more and more are being domesticated and kept as pets, I personally know a pair of domesticated chinchillas. Although they do not eat much throughout the day the most important thing to keep maintained and clean are their teeth, just like rabbits. As with most rodent family members their teeth continue to grow throughout their life and so must be kept maintained and kept at a certain length, gnawed and filed down with wooden sticks. Cute, cuddly and soft chinchillas are gorgeous animals and it is so sad that they are endangered. So much so that they may soon be extinct.