Courtesy of Diane Nott
Many gerbils like this one will be competing on November 7 to win ribbons and show points.
A gathering of gerbils and gerbil enthusiasts is scheduled for November 7, 2015, in Elyria, Ohio. Why? To compete in the American Gerbil Society’s (AGS) Midwest Gerbil Show. This is one of several gerbil shows held annually by the AGS, and it takes place at the Ramada Inn Elyria at 1825 Lorain Blvd. According to Diane Nott, one of the show’s coordinators, people from many places are bringing their gerbils, including Oregon, Florida, Canada, New York, New Jersey and New Hampshire.
A gerbil show is a lot like a dog or cat show, at least the conformation part of it. Gerbils are entered into different classes and judges rank them against a conformation standard. Body type, color, health and temperament are some of the things judged. Winners are awarded ribbons and given points that count toward champion status, and winners in all categories are then judged to award a Best In Show. That’s the formal part of the show.
Gerbils are rodents that originated in desert areas of Mongolia, China and Siberia and were imported to the United States years ago. The Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) is the species commonly kept as pets, although gerbils are not legal to own in all states. They live for about 3 to 3.5 years.
If you have a gerbil and wish to show him in conformation, you will need to join the AGS and wait until the MidAtlantic Gerbil Show in January. That takes place on the last full weekend of January in Timonium, Maryland, at the World Of Pets Expo.