The Screaming Gerbil
The screaming gerbil, Gerbillus hawkins, is probably the most famous, if not the most loved, representative of the Gerbillinae subfamily. As its name indicates, it is renowned for its loud vocalization, especially pronounced during the mating season, in late spring.
Native to the middle east, screaming gerbils have had a profound effect on life in the region. It is even believed that their screams have inspired the calls to prayer for Muslims that can be heard all over the world today. But most of us do not hold the screaming gerbil in such high regard.
In 1954, when the gerbil was first introduced the U.S.A. for research purposes, its cuteness was universally admired, and soon, thousands of the animals where imported for sale. A large number of species was sampled, to find which would best satisfy customer needs, and the screaming gerbil was among them.
Sixty years later, their numbers are still growing, as the screaming gerbil is now the most common rodent in northern America. Sales of soundproof windows, and extra-insulated walls have skyrocketed, and yet there is still no escaping the omnipresent vocalizations of our rodent friends.
The department of animal immigration (DAI) has yet to start addressing the problem in any meaningful way. Meanwhile, all the presidential hopefuls have pledged to make the extermination of the rodents their number one priority. Like all of their predecessors.