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African Pouched RatKali aged 6 weeks
Kali's vital statistics
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Species: African Pouched Rat (Cricetomys gambianus)



29 February

Jaali’s curiosity is starting to overcome his fear of Ambaa.

When they are both out for playtime Jaali keeps approaching Ambaa and, if she stays still, he will get very close until their noses are almost touching. His nerve always gives out after a few seconds and he will scamper off to the other side of the room. However he is getting bolder every day.

If Ambaa moves he runs off straight away.

19 February

Jaali tops 2 kilos

Jaali now weighs in at just over two kilos. He’s been getting closer to the two kilo mark for a number of weeks. He is almost full grown and only putting on a few grams a month.

See the rats’ weight chart for a full record of his growth.

14 February

Ambaa and Jaali are spending most evening playtimes out together. Jaali keeps his distance from Ambaa but he is getting more confident every day. He has not squeaked in alarm since the weekend but he will still run away and climb onto my sholder or up onto the back of a chair if he gets worried.

His curiosity seems to be getting the better of him and he will carefully approach Ambaa and give her a quick sniff before his nerve gives out and he runs away.

Every night they swap houses so that they get used to each other's smell.

Ambaa doesn’t seem very interested in Jaali but she is enjoying the extra playtime.

9 February

Pouched Rats on the BBC

The BBC2 program Capricorn will be featuring the mine clearing Pouched Rats of Mozambique on Sunday 17 February.

More information and a few pictures are on the BBC website.

9 February

Over the past few days Ambaa and Jaali have had some more introduction sessions but Jaali is still very frightened of Ambaa and they are still living in separate houses.

Ambaa has shown no signs of aggression towards Jaali so they are let loose together in one large room. They both explore happily until they meet. Jaali then takes fright, squeaks loudly and runs off to find somewhere to hide. This upsets Ambaa too and she gets a bit jumpy as well. Jaali will usually try to find me and climb onto my shoulder.

Today they were let loose together in the bathroom. Jaali got very frightened because he couldn’t get far enough away from Ambaa. Unfortunately he doesn’t seem to be getting any more confident and he is a bit wary about coming out for his playtime in case he meets Ambaa.

Perhaps if they swapped cages every night he would get used to her smell. It is worth a try.

6 February

Rat dance

When Ambaa and Jaali were in their divided pen getting to know each other the other day I was filming them. I’m hoping to capture the moment that that Jaali realises that he doesn’t have to be scared of Ambaa. It didn’t happen this time but on the tape were a few moments of Ambaa standing on her back legs and walking round in circles. It looked as if she was dancing.

The dancing rat sequence, with suitable music added, can be seen in the Album section.

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