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Bushy-Tailed Jirds (Sekeetamys calurus) come from Egypt and Arabia alongside the shores of the Red Sea. Although called Jirds Bushy-Tails are quite different in appearance to Jirds from the genus Meriones and indeed have a genus, Sekeetamys, all of their own.
They are roughly the same size as a Mongolian Gerbil although longer and thinner in build. Their faces are long and pointed with very prominent whiskers. Their most striking feature is their tail. In a non-dominant animal this is quite thick along most of it's length and is covered with hairs although the tip is sometimes bald. Only in a dominant male is this bush seen in all its glory.
Bushy-Tails are easy to care for, eating exactly the same as all other gerbils. They are more nocturnal than Mongolian Gerbils but will wake up and explore if disturbed during the day. They like to have a hide away and will squeeze into a jar or other small item given to them to nest in. They like to gnaw and will demolish almost anything very quickly. Glass is the only substance that seems to stand up to them. Their coat seems to get greasy very easily but they enjoy using a sand bath.
Although we have not bred any ourselves it looks like they must breed readily due to their increasing availability in the UK.
There are some more pictures at Gerbil-Info.
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Last updated 22 November 2013