Only five days into the Year of the Rat, and already prices have tripled – on hamsters. According to BBC News in Beijing, the hamster is now China’s must-have pet:
Pet shop owners say stocks are running low – and prices high – as children clamour for a furry friend.
“Rats and mice have a bad image, but hamsters are gentle. You can hold them in your hand and play with them,” Xinhua News Agency reported.
Pet stores are also reporting an increased interest in other, similar-looking creatures, such as chinchillas and squirrels. But it is the hamster that appears to have caught the imagination.
The hamster has won favor with Todou users as well, including “fei qi qi,” with her pet, Xiao Huang, in hand: