Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Mr Rattie – the stowaway!

Well, what a surprise!  One of the Keepers opened up the box that arrived containing our latest order of mealworms to be greeted by … a stowaway baby rat!  The young rodent must have crawled into the outer box containing our mealworm order before it left the supplier in Cambridgeshire (the company also breeds and supplies various species of animals, including rats and mice!)
It would seem that ‘Mr Rattie’ (as he’s become known) chose to take refuge in the box despite being able to escape through large ventilation holes if he’d wanted to.  Mr Rattie then travelled across England by road, across the Solent by Hovercraft and was finally collected and brought to Seaview Wildlife Encounter before being discovered.  You can imagine our surprise when greeted by the eager young face of a very cute “fancy rat” (this is the most common type of pet rat, otherwise known as a domesticated brown rat (Rattus norvegicus)
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Mr Rattie has become an instant hit with the Animal Care Team!  So much so that we’ve decided to keep him – perhaps to add to our interactive collection of animals in ‘Pets Corner’.  We’ve spoken to Simon of Simon’s Rodents who supplied us with the unexpected gift and he has kindly offered to send Mr Rattie a friend at no charge (these are sociable animals needing the company of other rats in order to thrive).  In the meantime, Mr Rattie is being temporarily housed in a bird cage, spoilt with all manner of tasty, nutritious treats and being taken home to to different Keepers’ houses at night for sleep-overs and cuddles!

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