Hello! I have a couple of questions about gerbil declanning. I’ve had my older gerbil girl since December. Sadly her bonded partner died from illness shortly after. I manage to find her a new partner in mid-January. I did the split cage method for 2 weeks and they bonded without problems. At the time of the introduction the older girl was around 12 weeks old, the new one around 6-8 weeks old. Naturally the older one became the dominant one. They’ve been living together without issue since then. Then one evening 2 weeks ago I noticed that the older one started chasing the younger one around the cage. It didn’t last for very long and they slept together that night. A few days later the chasing started again. It lasted longer and when she wasn’t being chased the younger one seemed to desperately look for a way out of the tank. I decided to remove her from the tank to give them both time to cool off. The smaller one slept in a small spare tank that night. I swapped them over a couple of times the following day so they wouldn’t forget each other’s scent and then the next morning I carefully reintroduced them and monitored them throughout the day. After some initial butt-sniffing they were fine. This was a week ago. I put the ‘fights’ down to the younger one reaching adulthood (she’s now a little over 6 months old) and challenging the social structure of their clan, and I’ve been keeping an eye on them in case of further problems. Yesterday I got home from work and immediately heard squeaking from the tank. The older one had a small but bloody wound on her nose and was hiding in the candy jar I use for their sand bath, the younger one was squeaking at her from just outside the jar. I immediately took the older one to the vet. She’s back home in a separate tank. I know these are clear signs of declanning and I’m lucky it didn’t escalate further while I was out. My question is, should I give up on them being a pair or should I give them one more try via a lengthy split cage trial? My instinct is to not put them under any more stress by forcing them together, but it also breaks my heart to think I haven’t tried everything. What would you recommend? Furthermore, if they do have to live apart, how quickly would you introduce new partners? By coincidence I recently noticed that a local charity was looking to rehome a lonely 11-months old girl. Should I try adopting her and putting her with the younger one? I know the older one needs to heal properly before I can attempt a reintroduction or an introduction of a new gerbil. If she can’t return to her former partner, should I try with another young gerbil? I’d hate to see her running into the same problem again once the potential new gerbil reaches adulthood and decides to challenge her. Would an older girl or a neutered boy be a safer option? Any help would be much appreciated!