Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
Still Waters

Cat-sized rats invade Florida Keys

25 posts in this topic

Gambian pouched rats the size of cats have invaded Florida Keys two years after authorities believed they had wiped them out.

The rats, which are an African species and can weigh up to 4kg, first appeared in the Keys between 1999 and 2001 after a local exotic animal breeder released them into the wild.

Officials fear they will devastate crops if they make it to the mainland.

arrow3.gifRead more...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

For many Floridians this should be a signal to fire up the grills, I heard Gambian Pouch Rats are delicious.

Edited by H.H. Holmes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have local rats that size ,in nyc.They would kick this bunches butt,no prob.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I saw a rat that big, I am pretty sure I would have a heart attack. :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL, my post was meant to read POUCH RATS. Not 'Punch rats'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Good link Atlantia, never knew they could be trained to sniff out land mines.

Edited by pallidin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good link Atlantia, never knew they could be trained to sniff out land mines.

Thanks Pallidin.

They are super cute little chaps. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Pallidin.

They are super cute little chaps. :)

Are they still cute looking after finding a land mine?

(joking)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what did they do when they found a mine. defuse it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what did they do when they found a mine. defuse it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

enhanced-buzz-25161-1332863236-10.jpg

Wow, they are big !

Those rats I mean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They make great pets and are really cute and intellignent little fellas.

These giant punch rats are the ones trained to detect land mines in Mozambique and elsewhere.

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/09/07/herorats.detect.landmines/index.html

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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

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.

+++

EDIT:

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 !!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

Why do stupid people do stupid things? Same reason people ask stupid questions ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.