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




26 July

The rats are really enjoying their times out playing in the hall and landing. They have both negotiated the stairs and, Babu in particular, likes to run about on the landing. He races from one corner to the next at full gallop. He gets so excited that he ends up bumping into things.

They also like to try and climb the bookcase but they are not very good at it. There isn’t very much they can cling on to so they rarely get onto the second shelf. They keep trying but end up falling off and landing on the carpet with a thud. They look very surprised when they fall then they try and climb the bookcase again.

21 July

Babu really seems to have got the hang of breakfasts. He and Ambaa are usually both asleep when I give them their breakfast. They are quite difficult to wake up and take ages to respond to me calling them, and fussing around their house changing their potty and clearing out the remains of last evening’s dinner.

Babu is always the first to wake up. He has a yawn and a stretch them comes to the door of the cage to be hand fed a crust of granary bread. He likes it so much he eats it on the spot. While he is eating it he lets me stroke him and scratch behind his ears. It is a real privilege to be able to have such close contact with Babu.

As soon as he’s finished the first piece he is up on his back lets looking for a second piece. I always have two pieces for him. He usually eats the second piece then as well but sometimes he stuffs it in his pouches and then he climbs up to the middle shelf to select the tastiest bits from the fruity parrot mix that I give them for their breakfast.

Ambaa is sometimes up at this point and I always have some bread ready for her too. She’ll take it from me but, unlike Babu, she’ll take it back to the nest to eat and then wont come out again. I don’t think she gets up again for breakfast even after I’ve left the room. There are some mornings when she doesn’t get up at all.

Ambaa is often up around 7 o’clock in the evening. I think she has most of her breakfast then.

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