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Pet Talk: Rats as pets

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 14, 2015 in Rat Answers
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Although cats and dogs may be the most common types of pets, for many other pet owners, animal companionship doesn’t stop there. In honor of World Rat Day on April 2nd, here are the ins and outs of caring for a rat as a pet.

“Rats are probably the most social and interactive of the small rodents,” said Dr. Sharman Hoppes, associate professor at the Texas AM College of Veterinary Medicine Biomedical Sciences. “They are quite gentle and seldom bite.”

Though these rodents are fairly docile, they aren’t typically recommended for small children without adult supervision. If you’re taking home a pet rat for your child, be sure to keep in mind that you will end up being its primary caretaker.

“Small rodents should not be pets for very small children,” Hoppes said. “Children less than 10 years old should be supervised closely when handling them; therefore, the care and monitoring of a rat is ultimately the parent’s responsibility.”

While these rodents still require adequate care and supervision, they are somewhat easier than gerbils or hamsters, which have a tendency to nip and are much more active at night.

“Rats are active during the day, which make them fairly easy to take care of,” Hoppes said. “They also don’t have special dietary needs or sensitive stomachs.”

Therefore, compared to other rodents, rats are fairly easy pets, but this doesn’t exempt you from the typical pet-owner duties. Rodents are still animals, and therefore require your constantlove and care.

“All pet rodents need a large enough cage, chew toys, ladders, plastic or PVC pipe, and daily interaction,” Hoppes said. “As with any rodent, the cage should be cleaned one to two times a week to keep ammonia levels down. Keeping the cage clean will also help decrease the incidence of respiratory disease.”

Even though you cannot take them on walks or let them run around in the backyard, ensuring that your pet rat gets enough exercise throughout the day should still be a priority.

“Rats may get obese in captivity, so you should have exercise wheels, exercise balls, or a safe rodent-proof room for them to play in and get enough exercise,” Hoppes said.

Rats are very social, intelligent animals and need companionship. Dr. Hoppes recommends getting two rats at a time so they have company while their owners work or go to school, and to select an active, social rodent with clean eyes, clean nose, and normal teeth. You should also take note that the skin should is well groomed, and that there are no visible lumps or bumps.

Keeping these factors in mind, a pet rat can be a great addition to your home.

Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine Biomedical Sciences, Texas AM University.

Article source: http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/west_university/living/pet-talk-rats-as-pets/article_b0e60438-19d5-5d60-9129-e9dca7924048.html

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Appeal for information after 60 rats and rabbits are abandoned over Easter Weekend

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 13, 2015 in Rat Answers
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THE Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after almost 60 pet rats and rabbits were cruelly abandoned in the Lothians over the Easter Weekend.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity was first alerted on Good Friday when a member of the public discovered 44 rats in a layby on the A68 between the Edinburgh city bypass and Dalkeith. The charity was then alerted to 15 rabbits abandoned on Saturday in the Langton area of East Calder, West Lothian.

The animals are now in the care of the charity’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balerno.

Assistant manager Kenny Sharpe said, “The rats were left inside a cabinet in the lay-by. There is a mixture of male and female rats, some adults and some newborns.

“Thankfully they are all in good condition despite the circumstances We will care for the rats until we can find them new homes.

“We think the rabbits were dumped and then spread themselves out as they were scattered over several gardens. It’s likely more than one person was involved given the volume of rabbits.

“There are three adults, two of which are pregnant. There are also six bunnies aged around a week old and five ranging from six weeks old to five months old. Sadly, one baby rabbit had to be put to sleep due to a severely damaged back leg.

“This is possibly a case of breeding gone wrong and we are very keen to identify who abandoned these rabbits.

“Anyone with information relating to the rabbits or the rats should call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

Abandoning and causing an animal unnecessary suffering animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.

Article source: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/appeal-information-after-60-rats-5485834

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Appeal for information launched after 60 rats and rabbits abandoned over Easter Weekend

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 12, 2015 in Rat Answers
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THE Scottish SPCA is appealing for information after almost 60 pet rats and rabbits were cruelly abandoned in the Lothians over the Easter Weekend.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity was first alerted on Good Friday when a member of the public discovered 44 rats in a layby on the A68 between the Edinburgh city bypass and Dalkeith. The charity was then alerted to 15 rabbits abandoned on Saturday in the Langton area of East Calder, West Lothian.

The animals are now in the care of the charity’s Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balerno.

Assistant manager Kenny Sharpe said, “The rats were left inside a cabinet in the lay-by. There is a mixture of male and female rats, some adults and some newborns.

“Thankfully they are all in good condition despite the circumstances We will care for the rats until we can find them new homes.

“We think the rabbits were dumped and then spread themselves out as they were scattered over several gardens. It’s likely more than one person was involved given the volume of rabbits.

“There are three adults, two of which are pregnant. There are also six bunnies aged around a week old and five ranging from six weeks old to five months old. Sadly, one baby rabbit had to be put to sleep due to a severely damaged back leg.

“This is possibly a case of breeding gone wrong and we are very keen to identify who abandoned these rabbits.

“Anyone with information relating to the rabbits or the rats should call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

Abandoning and causing an animal unnecessary suffering animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 and anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.

Article source: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/appeal-information-launched-after-60-5485834

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Nearly 60 rats and rabbits dumped by the roadside

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Apr 11, 2015 in Rat Answers
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The SPCA said they were called out on Good Friday when a member of the public discovered 44 rats in a layby on the A68 between the Edinburgh bypass and Dalkeith.

They were then called to 15 rabbits found abandoned on Saturday in the Langton area of East Calder, West Lothian.

The animals are now in the care of our Edinburgh and Lothians Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Balerno.

Assistant manager Kenny Sharpe said: “The rats were left inside a cabinet in the lay-by. There is a mixture of male and female rats, some adults and some newborns.

“Thankfully they are all in good condition despite the circumstances. We will care for the rats until we can find them new homes.

“We think the rabbits were dumped and then spread themselves out as they were scattered over several gardens. It’s likely more than one person was involved given the volume of rabbits.”

He said the rabbits included two pregnant females and six bunnies aged just a week old. Others were six weeks to five months.

One had to be put to sleep due to a severely damaged back leg.

Kenny added: “This is possibly a case of breeding gone wrong and we are very keen to identify who abandoned these rabbits.

“Anyone with information relating to the rabbits or the rats should call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”

Article source: http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/news/nearly-60-rats-and-rabbits-dumped-by-the-roadside-202877n.122794655

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Pied Piper of Pacifica

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Mar 26, 2015 in Rat Answers
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Click photo to enlarge

A day in the life of a rodent rescuer is anything but boring.

One day, dozens of guinea pigs had to be removed from Delores Park. Another day, a hoarder’s home was full of rats that had to be captured and removed. Families who can no longer care for a chinchilla or a hamster sometimes bring them to parks and release them.

Jennifer Paz has seen it all. As the director of North Star Rescue, she answers those calls all over the Bay Area and knows just what to do to capture the animals and tend to their needs.

Last summer, she opened Dandelion Dreams, a pet supply store at 1610 Francisco Blvd, where she brings the animals she rescued. The shop is so named because that is one of the favorite greens for guinea pigs. There a family looking for a new pet can not only find guinea pigs, chinchillas, hamsters, mice and rats, but also a new pet cage with hand-sewn hammocks and interior walls that can be changed to give the pet the most intellectually changing experiences. Pet environments in the shop are changed every week. Many of the accessories are hand made by Paz.

“It has all the things you need when you adopt these animals,” she said. “We even let people bring their cages back if they want to upgrade.”

Paz knows personally how important intellectual stimulation can be for animals as well as humans. She went to school in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in zoology, a master’s in psychology and a PhD in biology. She worked with sea turtles, bats and is published in the field of pollination biology.

Returning to the states, she soon settled in Pacifica after coming here to create ceramics and teach ceramics at Clay Creations.

It was the sight of pregnant guinea pigs kept in a recycling bin outside a major chain pet store that inspired her to get involved with the rescue of these animals.

She picks up animals from shelters where they would have otherwise been euthanized.

“We are the only one doing rodents,” she said.

When a small colony of guinea pigs needed to be removed from Dolores Park, she captured them by luring them in boxes that contained vegetables. Next she addressed their medical issues and nursed them back from malnutrition. She lets visitors to the shop feed them cilantro and romaine. She introduces each one by name and by their roles in the colony, which are similar to the jobs and hierarchies in human communities.

“Guinea pigs do better when they are in at least pairs,” she said.

She rescued 89 rats in one apartment in San Francisco and brought them back to Dandelion Dreams. There are 25 of them left. She made sure every one got spayed or neutered and received necessary veterinary care.

“It’s harder to herd rats,” she said. “They are more clever and smaller.”

She looks after a colony of rats in San Francisco’s Dungeon, an historical attraction at Fisherman’s Wharf. The Dungeon adopted a colony of rats from North Star Rescue. Paz looks after them three times a week to make sure they are well fed and in good health.

She works with two local vets, All Care and Pacifica Pet Hospital.

“Without them, it would be impossible to do rescue,” she said. She also relies on the help of volunteers.

She said her dual role of director of rescue and pet supply shop proprietor is a dream come true. It’s a good use of her skills.

“We doubled the income of North Star Rescue since August. It’s creative, because we are making our own rat hammocks and cages for guinea pigs. It’s intellectually stimulating because we deal with a lot of animals who are not in the best situations. I wanted to be able to make a living doing the right thing. Hopefully, we can build it up to make a living,” she said.

She loves keeping in touch with families who adopted pets through her. One family adopted a high-strung rat last year and just sent her a picture of that same rat, relaxed and happy in his hand-made hammock.

Dandelion dreams proceeds go to supporting North Star Rescue and Coastside Cavy Guinea Pig Rescue, organizations that merged last August,

North Star Rescue is in the middle of a fundraising campaign right now with a goal of raising $5,000 so they can better coordinate with one particular shelter, do more rescues and hire another person to look after the animals. The fundraising is open until April 7.

Click on the fundraising site to donate or for more information —

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-bay-area-s-small-pet-rescue-dandelion-dreams

Jane Northrop can be reached at jnorthrop@bayareanewsgroup.com

Article source: http://www.mercurynews.com/pacifica/ci_27778502/pied-piper-pacifica?source=rss

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Giant Rats Sniff Out TB in Mozambique

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Mar 25, 2015 in Rat Answers
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Giant rats may strike fear and disgust into the hearts of homeowners worldwide, but researchers in impoverished Mozambique are improbably turning some of them into heroes.


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At Eduardo Mondlane University in the capital Maputo, nine giant rats are busy at work — sniffing out tuberculosis-causing bacteria from rows of sputum samples.

These are no ordinary rats, as they have undergone six months of training in Tanzania. Their most distinguishing asset is their impeccable sense of smell.

Placed inside a glass cage, a rat darts from sample to sample, then stops or rubs its legs, indicating that a sample is infected with a TB causing bacteria.

Once the task is complete, it is given a treat through a syringe for a job well done.

Rate the Subway Rat: Photos

“Within 30 minutes, the rat can test close to a hundred samples, which normally takes a laboratory technician four days,” said Emilio Valverde, TB program director at APOPO, the organisation leading the research.

The project, which started in February 2013, has brought hope to thousands of TB sufferers who sometimes receive false results and test negative using the standard laboratory system.

In 2006, tuberculosis was declared a national emergency in Mozambique, with 60,000 people in 2014 said to be infected, according to the ministry of health.

That number was a 10 percent increase from 2013.

Samples delivered to the university for testing are collected from 15 health centres across Maputo.

Belgian group APOPO is planning to expand the program to other parts of the country, while working on getting the system approved by the World Health Organization.

The organisation claims rat testing is more cost effective than other conventional methods.

Each rat costs around $6,700 to $8,000 to train, with a six-to-eight-year life span.

The cost is lower compared to rapid diagnostic test GeneXpert, which costs up to $17,000 per device, setting the state back between $10 and $17 per test.

NYC Rats Carrying a Host of Scary Diseases

The kitten-size rats are also used by APOPO to detect landmines by sniffing out explosives.

They are light enough to cross terrain without triggering the mines, and are followed by de-mining experts who reward the rats with bananas.

The rats weigh up to 1.5 pounds and are said to be “easier to catch and train” — according to Valverde.

Samples pointed out by the rats to contain TB bacteria are then sent for further tests using fluorescence microscopy, a more sensitive laboratory technique.

The results are sent back to health centres, allowing patients to start treatment early.

Although TB is a treatable disease, in underdeveloped countries like Mozambique it can be deadly if left untreated and is particularly harmful to people living with HIV.

Mozambique is one of the countries worst affected by TB and 1 in 10 adults is HIV-positive.

With World Tuberculosis Day being marked on Tuesday, the Mozambican Ministry of Health said it was cautiously monitoring the APOPO work.

“This technique has to be compared to others that are available and already WHO approved, such as GeneXpert or LED microscope,” said Ivan Manhica, who heads the national programme for tuberculosis at the health ministry.

According to the WHO, TB killed 1.5 million people in 2013.

Article source: http://news.discovery.com/animals/giant-rats-sniff-out-tb-in-mozambique-150324.htm

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Frye: PET balls are great for fires

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Mar 22, 2015 in Rat Answers
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Nothing gets a fire going quite like gasoline.

A less-than-environmentally conscious neighbor proved that in dramatic fashion when we were kids. We lived next to a farm. One large hayfield was steps from our side door.

The farm — like those with chickens, dairy cows and hogs, and all the corn and other feed needed to sustain them — sometimes had rats.

They usually didn’t stray far enough to reach our places. But when this neighbor for a while tried to keep a horse in a fenced area more suitable size-wise for a large dog, they migrated in.

His solution was to pour gasoline down their holes, drop in a match, then greet the rats coming out the other end with birdshot.

You might call it the “kawhoosh and bang� theory of pest management.

It worked OK, I suppose — for everyone but the rats — though it didn’t make him really popular with the suddenly nervous neighbors. And when his daughter later accidentally set fire to about a half-dozen acres of the hayfield in another, non-rat instance of pyromania, well, it kind of put the kibosh on all the burning for a while.

But petroleum — in at least one form — can be a great help if you’re an outdoorsman.

Maybe you’re on a weekend camp out and want to start a fire to make mountain pies. Maybe you’ve wandered off the trail and realize you’re going to have to spend an unexpected night outside. Maybe you’ve swamped your canoe on a backcountry excursion and, wet and cold, getting a fire started is critical to fending off hypothermia.

That can be tough if the conditions aren’t right.

Petroleum balls, or PET balls, as some call them, can be a great help. They’re a dependable firestarter and fire extender.

Quite simply, a PET ball is a cotton ball — or gob of drier lint, if you really want to make these on the cheap — that you’ve lathered up with petroleum jelly. When they’re good and oily, you stuff them into some kind of waterproof container. I use old film canisters, but a candy tin or even a sealable plastic bag would be OK.

When you need to start a fire, take one out, peel it apart until you’ve created what looks like a cotton ball or drier lint bird’s nest and hit it with a flame or even a spark from a ferro rod or flint and steel. You get instant fire.

The fibers of the cotton ball burn but much slower than they would otherwise. They’ll usually even light when a bit damp. In any case, you can count on each ball to burn for five minutes or longer rather than a matter of seconds.

That gives you time to add kindling and build the fire you need to have fun or stay alive.

You can carry a dozen of these in a backpack, coat pocket or tackle box without even knowing it. Just stuff them in and go. When you want a fire — and especially when you really need a fire — they’re a great tool.

I wouldn’t necessarily recommend them for rat control, though. Let your neighbors develop any twitches on their own.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at bfrye@tribweb.com or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.


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Article source: http://triblive.com/sports/outdoors/8001053-74/fire-ball-balls

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Pet Talk: Household toxicities

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Mar 20, 2015 in Rat Answers
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Posted: Thursday, March 19, 2015 11:37 pm

Pet Talk: Household toxicities

From our community

Houston Community Newspapers

Although we may be extra-cautious when using household cleaners, automotive products, or pest control products in our homes and gardens, it may come as a surprise that the tasty morsel we just dropped while preparing dinner could endanger our best friend.

Chocolate can be found lying around the majority of households, especially during the holidays. Depending on the size and type of chocolate, it can be very dangerous to your pet’s health if consumed. Make sure that your children are aware of this, as they might think they’re treating Fido by sneaking him a piece of chocolate cake under the dinner table. If your dog does get a hold of some, chocolate is absorbed within about an hour, so you should call your veterinarian immediately.

“Additionally, grapes and raisins can cause renal failure in dogs if eaten,” said Dr. James Barr, assistant professor at the Texas AM College of Veterinary Medicine Biomedical Sciences. “The exact cause of this is unknown, and the amount that needs to be consumed in order to be poisonous is unknown as well.”

While the toxicity of many food items may surprise you, the assumption that rat poison will only eliminate rats is a misconception. Rat poison can be lethal to both cats and dogs when ingested. If you have pets in your home, it is best to opt for another pest control method.

One of the most common and dangerous household items that is poisonous to pets is antifreeze. “Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, which is very toxic to animals,” Barr said. “Toxicity can be treated, but only if treatment is instituted quickly.”

Using plants as décor can often liven up the backyard and even the inside of your home. However, there are many plants that cause health problems if eaten by your pets. Sago palms, for instance, can cause severe liver damage and even death if eaten.

“Lilies also have a strange effect when eaten in cats,” said Barr. “It causes kidney failure that is particularly difficult to treat.”

If your pet does ingests any harmful foods or household items, it is best to play it safe and contact your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center; they can help you determine if your pet needs to be seen by a doctor and if they consumed a toxic dose. The Texas AM Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital ER is always available to advise on toxic ingestions.

“Always be aware of the dangers of the things your pets have access to. If they are unsupervised, a safe assumption is that they might eat anything they are in contact with,” said Barr. “Have a discriminatory eye, and try to avoid having those items in your home.”

There is no harm in being extra cautious when dealing with possible toxicities around the house. Be sure to keep these particular items out of your pet’s reach at all times and to call your veterinarian or poison control center immediately if they do come intocontact with them.

Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine Biomedical Sciences, Texas AM University.

on

Thursday, March 19, 2015 11:37 pm.

Article source: http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/sugar_land/living/pet-talk-household-toxicities/article_ff64ec34-ea68-56e2-8fd2-9e2d3d91b7e5.html

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Auckland park rangers trap and kill pet

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Mar 18, 2015 in Rat Answers
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GRIEVING FAMILY: Lara and Bryan Jensen with son Kyah , 4, and Hunter, 1, are devastated their pet cat Teddy was killed.

Lara Jensen is horrified her family’s pet cat Teddy was caught in a pest trap then killed with a shot to the chest by Auckland Council park rangers at Shakespear Regional Park.

The Auckland Council park at the Whangaparaoa Peninsula’s northern tip is an open sanctuary with a predator-proof fence to protect native wildlife.

The incident has prompted the council to review and possibly change its cat control policy at the sanctuary.

BELOVED PET: One-year-old cat Teddy was ‘‘the greatest cat ever’’, the Jensen family says.

The one-year-old Persian Bengal cross cat went missing from his Army Bay home on March 7 when owners Lara and husband Bryan were away for the weekend.

“Teddy didn’t come home so we called the local vets, looked on Pets on the Net and Trade Me and posted a missing cat report on the Hibiscus Coast group Facebook page,” Lara said.

“After nearly a week of searching, Bryan suggested calling the rangers at the regional park. 

“To my surprise, the ranger I spoke to said they had some cats in their freezer, but they were from last month so he would check again and get back to me.”

Lara emailed a photo of Teddy to help with identification.

A few hours passed and she received a call from the ranger who asked to come and talk to her in person. He had some bad news.

“Twenty minutes later a ranger came around. I was a mess by then,” Lara said.

Teddy was ‘the greatest cat ever’ who belonged to her four-year-old son Kyah and came to the cry of her one-year-old son Hunter, Lara said.

“We are all absolutely mortified. I had to tell Kyah that Teddy wasn’t coming home… he howled and cried. It was awful.”

Lara said Teddy was wearing a collar with a magnetic cylinder to open their cat door and was microchipped.

The cat was spotted on camera, and captured 800 metres inside the pest proof fence in a cage trap.

Lara has written a letter to the Auckland Council and contacted the SPCA.

“What really angers me is there is no attempt to find the families of these pets. It’s absolutely cold that they don’t let family members know – people are out there looking for their missing cats.

“We would have rehomed Teddy if it was going to be a problem to the sanctuary. We didn’t even get a warning, and it is wrong.”

In light of the incident, the Auckland Council will review its cat control policy at Shakespear Open Sanctuary, which could include a ‘one strike’ scenario.

Where it is obvious the animal is a domestic pet, it may be returned to its owner with a warning that if found inside the fence again it would be shot in line with the policy.

“The need to maintain the integrity of the open sanctuary is paramount, but there may be the option of returning the cat to the owner with the appropriate warning,” Auckland Council parks, sports and recreation manager Ian Maxwell said.

The Shakespear Open Sanctuary is home to some rare and endangered species, so cats and other mammals pose a considerable threat. The cat was captured near a known population of threatened moko skinks, and cats are renowned lizard predators. Two new species of native lizard have been discovered in the open sanctuary since pests were removed in 2011.

Maxwell said the incident highlights that while the pest-proof fence is restricting almost all animals, some do enter around the fence ends or through the electronic gate via vehicle movements.

“The pest proof fence works. However, a peninsula neck fence has ends and these ends can and will be found by pests. The fence was designed to integrate a popular regional park with high conservation values,” Maxwell said.

“We always recognised we border an urban population with valued domestic and pet animals. In situations of imminent threat to wildlife or an unwillingness to engage with live capture traps, then other methods of cat control will be used.”

The Jensens have two other pet cats.

TRAPPED

This summer six rats, six hedgehogs, two cats and one possum were captured inside the Shakespear open sanctuary.  

Operational experience from similarly managed sites has shown that returned cats can become repeat offenders and exhibit ‘trap shy’ behaviour, making them difficult and time consuming to recapture if they return to the sanctuary, Auckland Council parks, sports and recreation manager Ian Maxwell said.

He said the park has a buffer zone leading up to the pest proof fence where the council has more discretion with pests. In the past, where cats have been found in the buffer zone, the council has attempted to trap and return them to their owners.

The park is home to large number of breeding kereru, tui, moreporks, bellbirds and kakariki. A number of birds also visit from nearby bird sanctuary Tiritiri Matangi Island.

NZ dotterel and variable oystercatcher now breed successfully around the park, along with kingfishers, pied stilts, and occasionally banded dotterels. 

Four species of native skink – copper skink, ornate skink, shore skink and moko skink have also been found.

Takahe may eventually be introduced if the park remains pest-free.


 – Rodney Times

Next National story:

Christchurch schools to get $138m for earthquake repairs

National Homepage

Article source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/67423828/Auckland-park-rangers-trap-and-kill-pet

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Do rats really spread disease and illnesses?

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Mar 17, 2015 in Rat Answers
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Rats are often thought of as disease-ridden pests – but do they really spread illness?

The creatures have in recent months been absolved of responsibility for outbreaks of black death which swept Europe in the 14th century.

Scientists said in February it was actually gerbils which brought the bubonic plague to Europe from Asia.

But rats do carry, and can spread, a number of nasty diseases.

Along with fleas and other parasites, wild rats are known to carry and help transmit illnesses such as foot and mouth – which brought Britain’s countryside to a stand still in 2001.

And they have also been linked to more obscure conditions including cryptosporidiosis – a parasite-borne intestinal disease.

Pet rats are generally disease-free.

A rat

A rat

Weil’s disease

Weil’s disease is perhaps the best known disease spread by rats.

Technically is an infection known as leptospirosis, and while in common cases it can cause flu-like symptoms, including chills and headaches.

In severe cases it can lead to organ failure and bleeding.

Weil’s disease is spread by contact with soil or water contaminated with the urine of certain wild animals, including rats. The condition can be treated with antibiotics.

Salmonella

Rats are a known carrier of the bacteria that can lead to salmonella.

Tuberculosis

All mammals can be affected by TB and rats are no different, they can both carry and transmit the disease.

e.coli

Rats can, and do, carry the bacteria which can be passed on through their faeces.

Article source: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/rats-really-spread-disease-illnesses-8851499

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