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Eastern Moles

Anteaters, Armadillos, Aardvarks, Tenrec, Aardwolf, ect

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Michelle
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Eastern Moles

Postby Michelle » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:40 am

Hi my name is Michelle and I am new to this group. I was wondering if anyone has a mole as a companion. I rescued Ganesh from my dog about a year ago. Ganesh is a female Eastern mole. She is very tame. She eats dog kibble, ground beef and insects. She lives in a large terrarium filled with wood chips. She drinks a good amount of water from her water bottle. Ganesh doesn't see very well but she has an excellent sniffer. Her nose reminds me of the trunk of an elephant. She delicately uses her trunk to touch new things and find her way. I create obstacle courses for her and mazes so that she doesn't get bored. She knows her name. I think that she hears pretty well. She is very easy to keep. The only real chore is trimming her nails as she does not like this too much. She bit me once in the last year and that was because I startled her I think. She is more cuddly than playful but she will do her mazes for treats.
Has anyone here had experience with moles? I couldn't find much on the web concerning pet moles. Most information is on how to exterminate them. There is an ongoing debate as to whether or not they eat plants, roots or seeds. From my observations Ganesh likes her meat but will tolerate kibbles which have some grains and veggies.
If people knew that these little creatures tame easily and are easy to maintain maybe more moles would be rescued instead of destroyed. It is my hope at least.
I do not know how long moles live. There has not been many studies done on captive moles. If anyone has any information please share. Much of what I found on the web was inaccurate. Thanks
Cellardoor
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Postby Cellardoor » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:02 pm

I don't have any information to contribute to this post i just wanted to say that it was interesting to ready and thanks for sharing :) she sounds like a sweet little girl!

-Hutch-
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TamanduaGirl
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Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:09 pm

Not had a mole either. Had a baby gopher once but he didn't make it. My cat used to bring baby animals home. Never saw cat injuries on them but they were often ill.
Lionsniper
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Postby Lionsniper » Thu Mar 19, 2009 4:56 pm

Wow, Michelle, good for you, I never thought about keeping the ones I rescued from my dog, they are such neat creatures! They certainly aren't promoted as pets, but here is your chance to make that known!!
Michelle
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Postby Michelle » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:51 am

Yes Ganesh is a good pet. She became tame fairly quickly. I guess people don't think of them as pets for a wide range of reasons. My first problem was how to house her. Of course she likes dirt and substrate to tunnel but this was not practical for me. Dirt is too heavy in a large terrarium. It is also difficult to remove her dropping and urine. We settled on aspen woodchips. She is able to tunnel and I am able to clean up after her. I change her woodchips weekly. I have a water bottle that she uses by lapping her tongue against it. She drinks alot of water.
Another challenge was what to feed her. There is much misinformation on the web about captive moles. Ganesh loves ground round but she also gets dog kibbles and the ocassional insect or grub as treats. I have read that moles need to eat every 3 or 4 hours or they will die. I don't think that this is true for captive moles. I leave kibble with her 24 7 just in case. My observation is that she eats one big meal. I give her her ground round at night. She snacks on kibble as needed.
I make a point to handle her frequently. I figure that she needs the stimulation being that she no longer has acres of dirt to explore. I also have a large plastic tub that I use as another environment. Sometimes dirt is provided so she can dig. Other times I create a maze with tubes and bricks. I try different things so she doesn't get bored.
I have had Ganesh for a year now. Her back leg is totally healed. I could have release her back into the wild but I worry she would return to my backyard where the dogs would kill her like they have with many other moles.
While she was healing I got attached to her. Now she is fat and spoiled so I don't think she would do very well if I released her. Sometimes I wonder if I did the right thing. Maybe she would prefer to be free and die young then old and be confined. From what I understand moles are solitary animals anyway. So I hope I have not been too selfish in keeping her. She seems happy except for when I trim her toenails.
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suki'smom
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Postby suki'smom » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:13 am

I think you did good by her. She would have probably been eaten by now. As long as she is happy and kept busy then there is no reason to feel bad :D
Last edited by suki'smom on Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lionsniper
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Postby Lionsniper » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:22 am

Michelle you have done a fantastic job--if Ganesh was not happy in captivity,she would have perished a long time ago or you would have observed some type of neurotic activity by now. I felt that way about Deltona, my flying squirrel, but he lived for 17 years and was a sweetheart!
Michelle
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ganesh

Postby Michelle » Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:15 pm

She seems happy. She doesn't have any neurotic behaviors. Do you have a pic of your flying squirrel?
We have many flying squirrels in our forest. They are so cute. I only see them in the evening. I understand that they make great pets. I did know someone who had problems keeping them. I can't remember what the issue was. If I ever find one that has been hurt or an abandoned baby I would love to shelter it and provide a loving home. I am fortunate to live where there is a diverse wildlife population. We have wild boars, deer, black bear, coyote, bobcat, redfox, raccoons, opossums, owls, hawks, eagles, turkeys, squirrels, flying squirrels and armadillos that all visit our property. These are only the animals that I have personally observed. There are probably other species around that I haven't encountered yet. I have seen skunks but only as roadkill. This always breaks my heart as it reminds me of my dearly beloved and departed Blossom Nibbles.
I have a feeding station for all of the wildlife. I use to have an infrared camera so that I could observe them at night but it broke and I have not replace the camera yet.
We also have a feral cat colony about a mile away that I feed. I am hoping to be able to get some of them friendly enough so that I can get them fixed.
Lionsniper
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Postby Lionsniper » Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:37 pm

I do have a picture but I don't know how to upload photos to here. Only have a work computer, so not techy enough nor the time to learn how to do that! My "One Flew Over The Rainbow Bridge" tribute to Deltona has been published in Animal Finder's Guide as well as other pubs. It sounds like you live in Florida as I have seen all but the black bear--we have alot of grey fox, of which I contributed to the local population by rehab and release--I have Florida panther in my area and seen one back in '96, my ex-husband seen one last year but you do see tracks and sometimes smell strong urine from them. They frequent the pecan grove next to my place, plenty of wild game and they do take the occasional cow/calf from the many ranchers in the area. Locals claim they have seen black panther, (whoa! so controversial) but too many people have seen them and one was a politician, so.................I researched that years ago and the Florida panther can throw a black cub, so it is very likely that they are seeing a black one. There are photos of black bobcats but none of the panther so far. One infrared camera in a park captured one (regular color) following a buck, pretty neat! If I had more property, I would rehab and release both the panther and bear as I have plenty of experience with both in captive environments, the panther might be a little tricky to teach them to bring down game, but if bears are anything like raccoons and I think they are, that would be a piece of cake. Good article from a family in Minnesota that raised and released black bears, this was published in Reader's Digest years ago. So, you had a pet skunk? I know they make great pets, but really, what doesn't or we wouldn't be here writing! I'm getting my hacking tower built so I can raise and release hawks and owls, really excited about that, so I can't take on any more critters at the moment--next project after that is getting my sanctuary going to take in unwanted big cats, older ones, don't need cubs to be able to bond/handle them--they are all individual, some you can handle, some you can not, depends on their history and what they actually want/need from us humans. There are plenty of feral cat colonies here in Gainesville area, they have a program called Project Catnip (of which I adopted 3 cats from it) where they trap, vaccinate, spay/neuter and release back to the wild. I'm not real keen on it as these cats do have to contend with getting run over, potentially starving, territory fights, etc.--touchy subject for some, but I just wonder if it is better alternative to euthanasia. I guess that is why I have 3 as pets.

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