It's finally time to introduce you to the newest addition to the Animal Welfare Centre, something we have been keeping secret for the last few weeks to let the new arrival time to settle in.
Please meet Pulang (aka Haggis) the Northern Luzon giant cloud rat (Phloeomys pallidus). Pulang arrived at the centre four weeks ago and has now completed his period of quarantine meaning that our students will now be able to work with him in our Twilight Centre.
Northern Luzon giant cloud rats are endemic to Luzon in the Philippines and are among the largest species of rat, averaging 2kg to 3kg in weight. A nocturnal and arboreal species, cloud rats gain their name due to being found high up in the tree canopies. In the wild this rat species feeds predominantly on leaves, roots, seeds and fruits. The IUCN class this species as least concern, however, unfortunately, there is growing pressure from habitat loss and hunting.
The AWC at Moulton College is one of only seven collections in the UK to house this species! We are now working with the studbook keeper to bring in a female to join Pulang so that we can actively contribute to increasing the representation of this species in collections.
Students at the AWC will get to work with Pulang in a number of ways. Daily servicing, providing enrichment and regular training sessions will allow students the opportunity to learn how to work with this unique animal whilst encouraging his natural behaviours.