TULSA, Oklahoma -- The competitors may be smaller than a deck of cards, but their breeder's big love of rodents brought competitors from across the country to Tulsa Saturday.
Folks from Oregon to New Hampshire were in town for a Gerbil Show. Donna Anastasi is giving an inside look at the competitive world of gerbils.
"Every gerbil has a standard for everything, from the shape of the head to the color to the pattern," said Donna Anastasi, President of American Gerbil Society.
She flew in just to judge the show.
Tulsa Veterinarian Katie McQueen helped organize the show. She also breeds and shows her own gerbils.
"They are my favorite rodent because of their generally good disposition and cleanliness as well," McQueen said.
McQueen got her first gerbil as a child, but now works as a small animal vet during the day and takes care of her own crew at night.
"I have two dogs, four cats and some fish and gerbils," she said.
She has more than 20 gerbils, many winning ribbons at other events. But she says she's still seeking the coveted "champion gerbil" title.
"Always start to get really excited and then I get them in here and I see everyone else's gerbils and I start getting much more nervous ...thinking they are not going to do as well as I thought," she said.
A gerbil show is similar to a dog or cat show, except that it is for gerbils. Gerbils are judged on body type, build, overall health, color, and temperament.
They also compete in cardboard chewing contests and rodent ball races.