They are smart, Heather! Squirrel-sense isn't dog, cat or human sense, but it's impressive. I did a lot better with later litters!
I kept them in a smallish rabbit hutch when they were babies--looked a bit like little blind rats then. As they grew, I made them a 5x3 cage of wood and chicken wire which they could climb. After a while, I gave my first litter the run of my laundry room because they needed space to practice jumping and racing--unfortunately, they chewed the knobs of my washer and dryer and nibbled quite a lot of wood off the window frames (I had the cords wrapped in old garden hoses).
My only really awful experience was walking in one morning to feed my babies dressed only in a long nightie. The little monsters climbed up my bod underneath the nighty--cripes, did those little claws hurt!! I had to peel them off one by one. They have bumpy little soles on their feet which allow them to grip almost anything. Skin is no challenge.
It's a real thrill to get that close to wildlife. I wanted to foster raccoons, but Hubs drew the line!
Eileen ~ Are you crazy girl? You like rats? They just creep me out.
I worked at a pizza place when I was in high school. Went out back one night to pick up the supplies that had been delivered. Was walking through the back room, couldn't see where I was going and tripped. Dropped supplies, whipped around just in time to see a rat about 10" long, excluding the tail jump at me. Through supplies in the fridge, turned oven off, walked out.
THEN ... was helping my sister move a pet store. Lost a white rat. Didn't think much of it really. Thought it was the male. Nope ... it was the pregnant female. Few months later, my sis called me from work. Heard a noise and went down a few steps with a flashlight into the basement. She doesn't scare easily ... but got chills up her spine when all she could see were about 100 glowing eyes. Before it was over, we had trapped 75 rats. Eww!
I did almost hit a red fox on my way home from work last night. It was big for a fox (at least the ones I've seen around here) and was really pretty. We also have coyotes in the area. One family lost their kitty. We put up a fenced area for our doggies.
A couple years ago, a fellow up the street had a bear that kept visiting his back yard. Smallish, black bear.
Occasionally, we have deer in the back yard.
That's it for the wildlife around here ... except for the racoons and squirrel and such.
Almost certainly crazy, but I still like rats.
We've had a number of them as pets. Sweet, funny, highly intelligent. Really.
My college roomate was a psychology major. When she took a clinical psych course, I had to go to the lab with her to handle the pigeons and rats--she was terrified of them!
I saw a nature program once on animal emotions. A couple of lab techies recorded a strange sound rats made when their tummies were tickled--they decided the little dudes were giggling!
Oh. I forgot to mention. My first pet rat was rescued from a snake.
I had a blind date with an MIT student. When we went to his fraternity, we joined a pack of cheering boys standing around a big aquarium, waiting for the snake to grab the rat and swallow it. I just stepped up, reached in and confiscated the rat.
My date never called again!
I have a few more pics for you...same trip to our local wildlife park. the unlabelled one is a Wallaby with a baby in her pouch. They are a smaller version of the kangaroo. These ones are very tame and will eat from your hand. In the wild, Kangarros will come and take your lunch from you..no questions asked! The big Red Kangaroos can reach six foot high when they stand tall and can be very scary looking. The males are very muscular.
The kangaroo in the pic has a baby too. The emus are scary looking, but they will eat from your hand too. It doesn't hurt...just a bit like the tap someone else mentions earlier in this thread about another bird.
When my kids leave home, I want to become a wildlife rescue carer. Can't yet because if you have babies to feed, you need to be up every two hours in the night to feed them.
Eileen, The Rat Attack pic is for you. I love rats too...these are our girls when they were 7 weeks old. Unfortunately we only have one left...they don't live long enough. They used to love to all dive down your jumper at once and fly around in there like it was their playground. Very sharp claws though, and often a scenario like that with you and your squirrel babies and your nightie!
Deb..I think you'll find Eileen is talking about domestic rats..not the wild type, which are a completely different species. I think that's sad what happened with the white pet rat and her babies. She should not have been available in a pet shop if she was pregnant anyway, but I won't go there.
Matilda It's actually Raymond Island, near Lakes Entrance that is over populated with koalas...but it sounds like it's not a one off. I have heard of the problems at Kangaroo Island too. Wish they would send some more over here.
Heather you are right...Clamydia is an STD, and that's how it spread so fast in the koala population.
Eileen....you must have posted while I was still uploading them! You have to click submit then edit for each pic..takes a while!
Hope you like Rat Attack!
Bravo to you for rescuing that rat. I can NOT for the life of me understand how some people can get joy from watching an animal kill another. It's so cruel that they feed live rats to snakes..if it were kittens or puppies they were feeding them, imagine the public outcry! Same thing in my book.
That noise they make when you are stroking them is called 'Bruxing' and it's the equivalent of purring. My last remaining rat, Ruby, sits on my shoulder when I watch telly and as I scritch her back, she softly bruxes into my ear. Precious moments.
Oh Eileen, I love that story about the date! :clap: And the one about your special critter. I swerved to miss a squirrel a bit ago. I looked in the rear-view mirror to see if it was alright and make sure (like I could do anything about it) that the car behind me didn't hit it. It was then that I hit the stupid curb, ruined two tires and two wheel cover. (Big sigh.)
Hayley, yup I'm aware of the diff. The white rat was not for sale; it belonged to the store (owner). I don't think they knew she was pregnant when she bolted. It was unfortunate. I remember they looked for a bit after they realized she was gone, to no avail. Gosh, that was long time ago. Great pics. Love the kangaroos. Is there a Disney character Kanga (and little Roo)? Winnie the Pooh maybe. Now I'm going to have to go check.
Yup ... and here they are!
Our lives are so different! :thumbsup:Brilliant aye! Eileen ,I would take Hayley up on her offer because Phillip Island is suppose to be really lovely. On Garden Island here, we have Tamars. They are very small kangaroos. They are protected. They are the only surviving Tamarins Australia. All main land species have died out. And on Rottnest Island they have Quokas. Which are even smaller. They are very tame. They also are the only survivers. I'll hunt out some photos and post them for you. They really are the cutest.I've seen many emus. They travell in family groups. They are hard to see when travelling by car because they blend so beautifully in with the bush. They merge in with the shadows. It's such a shame that so many koala habitats are put under so much pressure. When the koalas are severly stressed, which is the case with most populations, They are more prone to severe outbreaks of clamydia. Its such a horrid disease . The poor wee things become sterile and in the worst cases blind as well. :pray: Well it's going to be saturday tomorrow. Should we start another post, and call it SUNDAY Takecare everyone. :pray:
Great Rat Pic, Hayley! Thanks!
I've never heard the term 'bruxing' before. Thanks for that too. Those whiskers do tickle, though. :lol:
Matilda, I've never ever heard of Tamars and Quokas. I'd love to see pix. How great to discover that there are more critters on earth than you knew . . . better than a visit from aliens :thumbsup:
Oh Hayley, if I ever get the money to fly there, I will for sure come say hi! Thanks for the offer. And thanks for the pictures. I love them!!! I really dream of seeing a Kangaroo. And if I ever got to pet a tame one!!!! :dance: I have seen an Emu before. Lots of people here have them. Amazed that they can live in your warm climate and our cold one. Poor things, I'm sure they would choose to stay in Australia.
This picture is of me holding a Canadian animal. It's a lynx, and by far the biggest cat I've ever held. Don't mind the yucky picture of me, long day outside :redface: :redface:
Eileen, nice to hear you rescued the rat, and that it meant more to than than the boy!!! :lol:
Matilda, I've never ever heard of Tamars and Quokas either. Interesting animals you guys have!!!!!
Oh yeah, and Hayley. I worked in pet stores for years, (only the good ones though. Lots of bad ones! ) And although it is gross to feed a snake a rat, mouse etc. It's the way it has to be. If I didn't feed the snakes a mouse, they would die. Although I would always kill the mouse myself, so I knew it would die fast and painless. And not easy for me to do, I haven't eaten meat for about 13 years now. So I can't even eat a chicken or cow. But I did understand that the poor snakes had to eat meat. Gross though, I know.
:dance: Heather, you're gorgeous!!
If I looked as good after a long hard day . . . I guess I'd work harder and stay up later! Emus in Alberta? I had no idea. Lynxes I knew about, but I've never been that close to one--it's a beautiful kitty.
You're also right about the snakes. I know that after I rescued one rat, the boys would just feed it another, but couldn't just stand there and do nothing. So I don't blame myself any more than I blame the snake--course of nature in both cases.
Shelli, I've been told I'm a 'wise soul' for a long time now. It's because I'm a pisces. It's the last sing of the Zodiac, and supposedly means you've had many a past life. Once you master a sign, you move onto the next one, and pisces is the last one. I guess if I master life soon, I'll reach enlightenment. Blah, blah blah blah. Sorry to bore you all. But think of any little pisces kids you know, I bet they seem older too.
Sue Ann and Eileen, you guys are soo sweet!! :redface: 'That place with the Lynx was also the place I saw my 1st emu. Such cool animals, but to be honest, I haven't met an animal I didn't love. Even snakes and rats.
I love how us bear makers are also animal lovers. That's where my passion came from. Wanting to recreate something as cute as a real animal.