Category Archive 'Bamboo Rat'

19 Feb 2009

Giant Rat of Sumatra Apprehended in China

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Photo: HTTP://NEWS.163.COM

The Telegraph reports one of those natural history curiosity stories, in this case featuring a literary twist.

A giant rat with one-inch-long teeth has been caught in the southern Chinese province of Fujian.

The rat, which weighed six pounds and had a 12-inch tail, was caught at the weekend in a residential area of Fuzhou, a city of six million people on China’s south coast.

The ratcatcher, who was only named as Mr Xian, said he swooped for the rodent after seeing a big crowd of people surrounding it on the street.

He told local Chinese newspapers that he thought the rat might be a valuable specimen, or a rare species, and had to muster up his courage before grabbing its tail and picking it up by the scruff of its neck.

“I did it, I caught a rat the size of a cat!” he shouted out afterwards, according to the reports. Mr Xian is believed to still be in possession of the animal, after stuffing into a bag and departing the scene.

The local forestry unit in the city identified the nightmarish creature as a bamboo rat from initial photographs, but said that it would need to examine the rat more closely before making a final identification.

Chinese bamboo rats rarely grow beyond ten inches and are found throughout southern China, northern Burma and Vietnam.

However, the Sumatra bamboo rat, usually found in the south-western Chinese province of Yunnan and in the Malay Peninsula can grow up to 30 inches long, including tail, and can weigh up to eight pounds.

A “Giant Rat of Sumatra” is mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes tale: The Adventure of a Sussex Vampire.


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