At the pet shop browsing and noticed a label for a hamster that said: “Syrian Hamster.” I looked at it twice to make sure that it actually said Syrian. Is this really talking about Syria? I thought to myself. I had to find out:
Syrian hamsters are probably the most popular hamster species kept as pets. They are available in a dazzling array of colours. These charming characters make wonderful pets for children and adults alike.
Syrian hamsters originate in the Middle East (particularly Israel (no mention of Palestine?) and Syria). Most of the Syrian hamsters available as pets or show animals today can trace their ancestry back to a mother and her 12 pups caught in Aleppo, Syria, by Professor Aharoni in 1930.
The Syrian hamster was thought to be extinct in the wild as no sightings had been made of wild Syrian hamsters since the 1980’s. However expeditions in 1997 and 1999 found some wild Syrian hamsters. 19 were caught and now form the nucleus of a captive breeding programme in Germany. The wild Syrian hamster is currently classified as endangered.
Reference: Syrian Hamster