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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Weekly Dose of Cute: The Bravest Rodent EVER

I stumbled across this little story at Snuzzy.Com and simply had to share it. How's this for a brave little rodent?



Photos taken by Casey Gutteridge

As the story goes, what was initially identified as a mouse (though closer inspection identifies as a young rat) decided that it wanted some of what Sheena, a 12 year old African leopard at the Santago Rare Leopard Project in Hertfordshire, was about to eat for lunch. The leopard was quite stunned by the creature's boldness, and at first she was taken back and even acted a little frightened according to photographer Casey Gutteridge. She then stared for a few moments at the small creature stealing her tasty raw meat, finally choosing to walk over and give it a sniff. Either annoyed or amused, the deadly feline proceeded to nudge the felon, trying to convince it to leave her meal alone, however the courageous rodent refused to move until it was finished eating its stolen meal. Talk about balls!

The Santago Rare Leopard Project has been working for 20 years to breed the world's most endangered leopards like the clouded and snow leopards. Started by ex-dog breeder Peter James and his wide Jackie, the project houses around 15 rare animals, and is working hard to preserve these majestic species.

6 comments:

Paper Hand said...

I wonder if that rat has one of those mind-control parasites? :-)

Joshua said...

Paper, the presence of Toxoplasmosis could help explain this behavior. I'm really much more curious as to why Sheena didn't do something to the rat. Possibly she just isn't used to killing stuff. Also, some species of predators are quite sedate when they aren't actively hunting.

Tony Wildish said...

If the leopard is that scared of a rat then I may have a clue as to why it has become endangered :-)

liliannattel said...

Cool!

Kirk Mona said...

Cool photos but I'm not sure "brave" is the word I'd use to describe the rat. Lucky or genetically at-risk might be more appropriate. :)

uzza said...

That's a rather unkind characterization of Ms James there in that last paragraph. ;-)