Over the summer we have welcomed the arrival of our first baby Northern Luzon giant cloud rat at the Animal Welfare Centre at Moulton College.
After the successful introduction of Haggis and Thistle at the end of last year we have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of some young. At the start of the summer the waiting was over when the keeper team discovered a tiny fur ball in one of the sleeping boxes. Over the last two months the baby has continued to grow and follow mum around the enclosure and has now started to sample some of the foods offered to the parents, becoming more independent and confident each day.
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 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) class this species as least concern, however, unfortunately, there is growing pressure from habitat loss and hunting so all efforts to increase numbers are important.
The new arrival joins the collection of over 130 species at Moulton College. This wide range of animals, birds and reptiles means that students on the further education or undergraduate courses get to work with and study a variety of species, best preparing them for future employment in the sector.
We are one of only a small handful of animal collections to house this species in the UK and we are incredibly proud to be joining the wider zoological community in efforts to increase their captive breeding success.