Have you ever wanted a teddy bear? For most of us, we know that we always did. But how about a teddy bear that is alive? Sounds impossible, right? But what if I told you that it’s true!
Well, of course I will be lying if I say that a stuffed hand-stitched piece of fabric can actually come to life by magic. What I mean is there is a certain animal that is really cute and resembles our favourite stuffed toy so much, that it is almost like a living teddy bear. What is it? It’s the Teddy guinea pig.
The Teddy Guinea Pig is a breed of guinea pig with many features similar to the American guinea pig breed. However, it also has many distinctive features making them worthy of calling them unique. Just like other guinea pig breeds, the Teddy also has interesting facts about their history, and has a great personality. Here are some things you need to know about them:
History and Origin
Guinea pigs, as a whole, have been living in the world for quite a long time. They were said to have started off as wild nocturnal animals in the rocky and grassy regions of South America. They survived in families or groups consisting of about ten members and live underground. The animals were said to be primarily domesticated by ancient tribes in the areas of South America now known as Peru and Bolivia. They were domesticated around 2000 BC. They were kept as food for the tribe but some of them may have been kept as pet for their families. This became a known trend to the area and was discovered to have many uses. They were given as gifts by tribesmen to other tribesmen and children during important celebrations such as weddings. The animals will then be treated as pets and be kept inside the house with the freedom to run around. Guinea pigs were also used as an important apparatus on ancient medicine. They were used by tribe doctors to diagnose a suspected disease. As a tradition, they are rubbed all over a sick person’s body and then when it squeaks, the animal is believed to have found the affected area. This show the importance of the guinea pig on ancient tribes’ everyday lives.
When the Europeans reached the Americas on the 16th century, they started bringing the guinea pigs to Europe. Then, they will sell the animals to the richest people on the area and with Queen Elizabeth being one of them; the rodents became one of the most popular pets in the European regions. The name “guinea pig” might have been taken from the probable belief that the pets were brought from Guinea since during those times, the ships that came from South America might have stopped at Africa.
It was probably because of the European influence to other countries today that the guinea pig specie became a very famous pet to adopt, especially because of its wide variety of breeds. The Teddy guinea pig is actually one of the new breeds of guinea pigs and it is believed that the certain sub-specie was created through genetic mutation, which is the alteration of its DNA; and the Teddy’s case, the changing of the properties of its fur and other parts.