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Rest in Peace gerbils Petra and Suri



Small and furry, thumping feet
Twitching noses as they meet

Sisters two,
black and white
Sleeping soundly
out of sight



Rodents they are as quick and as bright,
dumpling Petra, Suri slight.
Time spent digging, chewing and grooming,
neither sand-bathing, simply removing.
A cocoon, a haven, that soft warm nest,
nothing more needed – simply the best!



At some point last night our remaining gerbil Suri passed away. We aren’t sure as to the cause of death, but she was getting old and has been pining away for her sister Petra whom we had to put to sleep last November (due to an inoperable tumor).

We got Suri & Petra from a animal rescue center (Kit Wilson Trust – www.kitwilsontrust.org.uk) on 11th Sept 2007. We’re unsure of how old they were at the time but we were told 1 year old. They had been kept in pretty standard conditions, a small enclosure, and well looked after in terms of food, water, bedding etc.



We managed to find a 4ft fish tank for them to run around in, with numerous tubes running out above the tank where their house and feeding ‘pod’ was kept. They loved the new space they had been given. They ignored the wheel provided and decided to set up house in the wheel pod with their ‘summer cottage’, a wooden house, in the tank below. We like to think that they had a content life, having plenty of toilet rolls to chew as well as feathers to chase.

Rest in peace dear Suri, we hope you’re snuggling up with your sister now.

Suri and Petra

Suri (black) and Petra (black and white)

As mentioned in the previous post we had 2 gerbils by the time we got our pigeons. We’d let Suri and Petra run about on the sofa or in the bathroom for a little playtime outside of their tank and everything was hunky-dory.

One day when Suri and Petra were running about on the sofa Georgie happened to be there too. Before we knew what was happening Petra walked up to Georgie and bit her on her foot. In her shock and pain Georgie took off to escape Petra but she held on and was dangling from Georgie’s foot as she frantically flapped to fly away. Petra let go and fell to the sofa before we managed to grab Georgie. There was blood spurting from her foot. I put the gerbils back into their tank while Richard held our poor pigeon and tried to stop the bleeding.

As you can imagine, our hearts were racing (as I’m sure Georgie’s was too) and we were in a bit of a panic. Guilt quickly showed its face and we felt very bad for what had happened. Thankfully the bleeding stopped and Georgie pigeon was fine, but I’m sure her foot throbbed with pain.


That episode quickly put the end of any sort of contact between our pigeons and gerbils. We couldn’t trust the gerbils to not attack again. … We thought that would be that but it happened again, despite all our vigilance.

We had put Suri and Petra in a small wire cage while we cleaned their big tank and Dora, our only fully flighted pigeon, thought it would be a good idea to land on the top of the wire cage. No sooner had she done this than Petra nipped one of her toes. Dora took off, a bit of blood dropped, and our hearts raced again.

The moral of this short story is that when it comes to rodents and their ‘cousins’ the ‘flying rodents’ you cannot mix the two together. Pigeon feet are apparently quite delicious.


P.s. Looking back at these incidents we cannot help but laugh. The image of a gerbil hanging from a flying pigeons foot is quite funny.

P.p.s. Not that we advocate pitting a gerbil against a pigeon! We are completely against any such act!!