Archived Letter – 590

In regards to the fear of rats taking over Minto, I have some calming insight. I worked raising lab rats for a local university, & can confidently tell you that these guys would not fair well if they escaped. They have no fear of humans, predators or cars. They are kept in warm buildings, bottle fed and food is conveniently supplied – so finding food on their own would be a challenge. With regards to their purpose, yes they are food for big boas and pythons, but they are also food for the tiny snakes and lizards and many frogs. The mass production of these rodents will be mainly for the babies. That gentle bearded dragon in your children’s classroom will eat “pinkie rats”. Check out the freezer at any PETSMART and there are boxes and boxes of frozen baby rodents for the pet trade. These are not only a low escape risk, these babies will never be able to survive in the wild. I have raised exotics for years, and can literally buy baby rodents from multiple sources in any small town or large city, as people raise their own food and supply for others. People do not realize how many local reptile owners there are in the region. You see me walk my dog every day, but you don’t see people walk their lizards, frogs or snakes. Exotic owners are part of the community, you just don’t know about us since we take such good care of our pets and food supply.

Lance Henderson