Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

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Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Congui, a domesticated hutia, rides on the front door of an American classic car driven by its owner Rafael Lopez, in Bainoa, Cuba. Five years ago Lopez and his wife Ana Pedraza adopted Congui, their first pet hutia, a large rodent that lives in Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas and some of the smaller Caribbean islands. More than a half-dozen more of the furry animals have been born at their home after occasionally bringing in a male hutia in to mate with Congui. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Rafael Lopez sticks out his tongue infused with rum for his pet hutia Pancho, in Bainoa, Cuba. While some hutias can be aggressive, the 50-year-old Lopez and his wife have found the hutias to be pleasant companions. Lopez, calls the hutia “a precious, curious and very intelligent little animal.” (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Pancho, a domesticated hutia, confronts a camera, in Bainoa, Cuba. With their rope-like, dark tails, long front teeth, and whiskers that appear to be vibrating, hutias look like giant rats. They measure nearly a foot long (about 30 centimeters), with the largest ones weighing in bigger than a small dog. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Rafael Lopez strokes his pet hutia Pancho, in Bainoa, Cuba. While some hutias can be aggressive, the 50-year-old musician and his wife have found the hutias to be pleasant companions. Lopez, calls the hutia, “a precious, curious and very intelligent little animal.” (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, one of Ana Pedraza’s pet hutia, listens to her sing at their home in Bainoa, Cuba. Pedraza lives with her husband in a large home with a patio in this community about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of the capital of Havana. They built a special cage for their pets after discovering that letting them loose only resulted in the destruction of telephone cables and furniture. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Ana Pedraza gives her pet hutia, Congui, a drink of coffee, in Bainoa, Cuba. Five years ago Pedraza and her husband Rafael Lopez, right center, adopted Congui, their first pet hutia, a large rodent that lives in Cuba, Jamaica, Bahamas and some of the smaller Caribbean islands. More than a half-dozen more of the furry animals have been born at their home after occasionally bringing in a male hutia in to mate with Congui. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

CORRECTS SPELLING OF HUTIA – In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Ana Pedraza gives her pet hutia, Congui, a drink of coffee, in Bainoa, Cuba. Conqui and her brood like to drink coffee and munch on crackers, greens and root vegetables. Congui’s son Pancho every once in a while likes a little nip of rum. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)



Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 4:00 pm
|


Updated: 8:01 pm, Wed Nov 19, 2014.

Cuban couple keeps rodents called hutias as pets

Associated Press |


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BAINOA, Cuba (AP) — Some people keep guinea pigs or hamsters as pets.

But in Cuba, where a larger, more exotic rodent runs wild, Ana Pedraza and her husband prefer the hutia.

With a rope-like tail and long front teeth, the hutia looks like a giant rat, only cuter, some would say. They live in Cuba and other Caribbean islands where they are sometimes hunted for food.

But Pedraza and her husband Rafael Lopez say they only want to want to protect and take care of the animals, which measure nearly a foot long (about 30 centimeters), with the largest ones weighing in bigger than a small dog.

The couple began collecting hutias about five years ago when they found one languishing on a roadside and named her Congui. They found her a mate and now have more than a half-dozen hutias in their home about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of the capital, Havana.

Congui and her brood like to drink sweetened coffee and munch on crackers and vegetables. Her son Pancho enjoys an occasional nip of rum.


© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014 4:00 pm.

Updated: 8:01 pm.

Article source: http://www.yankton.net/news/strange_ap/article_fcbd2307-5cf3-5eb6-9966-315b3cc42622.html

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