London's Latest Rat

By Rob Last edited 170 months ago
London's Latest Rat

Call us cynical, but when we read that London Zoo was claiming to have bred a Panay cloud rat, our first thought was "Wow, they must be getting really desperate if they're making animals up now."

After all 'cloud rat' sounds too much like a zoological rebranding exercise:

"Hmm the rat's been getting some pretty bad press ever since the great plague, we need to do something about that. I know let's just stick a pretty, fluffy word like 'cloud' in front of it's name. The public lap that kind of thing up"

But apparently the cloud rat does actually exist (although not very much) and it has a Latin name and everything (Crateromys heaneyi).

London Zoo's cloud rat is the first one to be bred outside the Philippines since the "squirrel-like animal" was discovered in the late 1980s and its hoped that more can now be produced in order to "establish a viable population outside the Philippines as an insurance population for the wild"

Not bad going is it? Discovered in the 80s, endangered in 2004. Us humans are getting really efficient at this extinction business.

Last Updated 12 November 2004