Top chef, top dog – but top gerbil?
The competition called for agility demonstrations in which the gerbils must overcome obstacles and race to the end of a course. Breeders of the small animals vie for coveted ribbons based on body type and agility.
"A male gerbil should be a good, strong, hefty-looking gerbil," said Libby Hanna, president of the American Gerbil Society. "If you are going to think of it in human terms, you might think of a football player — somebody who's big, thick neck, nice, strong-looking male gerbil."
An ideal female gerbil will have a more streamlined appearance.
"So she would be strong and athletic-looking — not really scrawny, but slim," said Hanna, who serves as a judge in the show. "I usually use a figure skater as my mental image or gymnasts — so obviously a gymnast is not necessarily a big, big woman, but she's gonna be strong, muscular and athletic."
Fourteen-year-old Sarah Kaden from Bordentown, N.J., thinks gerbils have great personalities.
"Even though they are so little, they are very different from each other. They smell a lot less than my brother's hamsters," she said Friday.
Donna Anastasi of Waltham got hooked on gerbils after buying them for her daughters when they were younger.
"Anyone can buy a $12 gerbil and get into the sport of gerbil showing or gerbil agility," said Anastasi, who is also vice president of the American Gerbil Society. "It's very fun ... easy and affordable and something you can do with your kids."
Critical thinking challenge: Why would anyone create an “American Gerbil Society” and hold a competition?
- Posted on May 6, 2013