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Cat-sized rats invade Florida Keys

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#16    Abramelin



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Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:33 PM

View Postharleyblueswoman, on 31 March 2012 - 07:40 PM, said:

I guess it is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder...cause those rats aint cute!!!!!!!!!!! uck!!  Florida seems to be the dumping ground for everything exotic....lord knows what they are going to find next!!

The reason you think they do not look cute is because of the horror stories you have been told or read.

Brown rats spread diseases that kill many people, but so do we humans.



I also like corvids, more than I like rats.

Also a species hated by many because of them being a socalled pest.

There is only one pest on this planet, and that is us humans.


Edited by Abramelin, 31 March 2012 - 08:37 PM.



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Posted 31 March 2012 - 09:00 PM

Its a pity some people just don't think before they release an animal into the local flora & fauna what effect it has.

#18    Fergus


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Posted 31 March 2012 - 10:00 PM

I have had pet rats multiple times in my life, they make an amazing pet and love attention and love to play.

As far as the "facts" that they spread disease, sure the ones that live in filth and sewers do, you try to live in that environment and see how healthy you are!

All my pet rats have been meticulous cleaners and clean themselves daily, they don't like living in filth but they are able to survive in that environment if necessary.

It does suck they only live 2-3 years and they usually die from tumors though. That aside, they are amazing creatures who are very loyal.

#19    Knight Of Shadows

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 10:03 PM

my god if there's any animal i really hate it'll be rats

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#20    spud the mackem

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 11:07 PM

I read in  science magazine that no matter where you go or what country you are in there is a rat or rats within 20 yards of you...most of them in civilised countries are in the sewers ,and if you've ever been to a granary you wouldnt eat no more bread and thats a fact..and have you ever thought of what goes into a water reservoir ?  bird /animal /fish poo etc but of course its all cleaned before you get it, I think !!

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#21    None of the above

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Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:04 AM

View PostDarkwind, on 31 March 2012 - 07:36 PM, said:

If they make such get pets then why do people turn them loose like the darn boas that are destroying the everglades. Too bad we didn't realized until too late we would have been better off keeping native animals as pets.  :no:

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#22    Sundew



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Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:38 PM

View PostDarkwind, on 31 March 2012 - 07:36 PM, said:

If they make such get pets then why do people turn them loose like the darn boas that are destroying the everglades. Too bad we didn't realized until too late we would have been better off keeping native animals as pets.  :no:

In many cases it is illegal to keep native animals as pets, though in the case of common species that seems pretty dumb. For example, if you wanted to keep a Cardinal species as a caged bird you would have to keep the exotic Brazilian Cardinal rather than our native Red Cardinal. In so doing there is always the potential risk of it escaping and establishing a population as it has done in Hawaii. Of course Hawaii also has the Red Cardinal which was not native there but imported from the mainland. But my point is why restrict ownership of a very common native species in favor of an exotic? It's not like we will run out of Red Cardinals and you could allow only second generation captive bred birds to be sold to keep people from reducing the wild population.

As far as the Everglades is concerned. If people have some utopian ideal of returning the Everglades to its pristine condition prior to Europeans arriving in Florida, two words for you: Pipe dream. First much of the water flow that fed the "river of grass" has been diverted for agricultural and drinking. This has allowed saltwater intrusion from the surrounding Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico to begin infiltrating inland areas. The changes in salinity affect wild life and plant species. Unless Miami and other nearby communities have a cheap source of abundant water from some other source this will continue for the foreseeable future and these population centers are expanding.

Secondly, boas are hardly the problem. Yes, some have escaped and may be breeding, but they are only the tip of a very large iceberg as far as changes to the Glades. The native freshwater fish have largely if not totally been replaces by exotics. Bluegill and Largemouth Bass are competing with Oscars, Peacock Bass and other cichlids, plus one species of Snakehead, Red-tailed and Walking Catfish, Pacu, etcetera, the list goes on and on. Occasionally piranha are caught in the Glades but because of their sensitivity to cold don't seem to be establishing there. Then there is the plant community: thousands of acres of Brazilian Pepper, Australian Pine, Paperbark Tree, just to name the three worst offenders, Then you can add various birds, snakes, frogs, lizards and crocodilians of which the Burmese Python and Black Cayman are the worst and most dangerous and have established breeding populations. Monk Parakeets and Green Iguana are also a huge problem, but at least they won't eat your child. Offshore Florida now has the venomous Lionfish now established in the Atlantic.

Some of these exotics do little harm like the Giant Day Gecko, others like the pythons can kill all kinds of wildlife and endanger humans as well. But while the Gambian Rats were apparently released on purpose by an animal breeders, many of these exotics are accidental escapes, and some the result of natural disasters like Hurricane Andrew. Despite the fact that many, many more species have, on occasion,  been found relatively few have adapted to Florida's unique environment, but other than perhaps Hawaii, Florida does have more than its share of exotic critters.

#23    DieChecker


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Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:20 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 31 March 2012 - 08:33 PM, said:

I also like corvids, more than I like rats.

Also a species hated by many because of them being a socalled pest.

There is only one pest on this planet, and that is us humans.
Tell that to the crow that stole 3 hot dogs right out of my hand/bun the last time I went camping.

Pests, but entertaining most of the time too.

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#24    RamonaLisa


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Posted 03 April 2012 - 04:33 PM

View PostAbramelin, on 31 March 2012 - 08:30 PM, said:

Well, I have seen a couple of sites and lots of pics. These critters look cute.

I had a tame (white) rat once. I can tell you: they are more loyal to you than any dog.

The damn thing is that they don't grow that old. Three years is about max.

I actually thought that these pouch rats would be great as pets: smart as any rat, curious, and loving creatures, and maybe living years beyond 3 years.

But some people buy a pet, get bored of it, or can't handle it, and then set it free in some forest or wetland or wherever.

Or it is done on purpose.. to add animals to the local fauna.

A friend of mine swears by rats as pets, I think his little guy lived till it was around three years old and he was absolutely devastated afterwards. It used to sit on his shoulder and such all day long, mind you, it was only the size of his hand, not the size of a cat. That might be pushing it even by his standards!

#25    minera


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Posted 06 April 2012 - 09:18 PM

I saw in the news back in the 1980's about mice in Australia. They were everywhere and came pouring out of cupboards and such like water. They were not native to Australia and had no natural predators.  Imagine the same with cat sized rats! It would be like someones worst nightmare!If they are not indiginous to the area those who import them should be held accountable.

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