Monday, August 29, 2011

Water rat runaway!

Hi Sea Fans!

This last week was so quiet that I even managed to clear my desk - something that is very much like homework to me!  In the pile of papers, I found an incident report from a while back all about our Water Rats escaping when we first got them.  I was having such a good chuckle when all of a sudden, I heard a mayday call on the won't believe it, but the Water Rats had escaped!!

They haven't tried to escape in a long time, but they must have known that I was reading about their last great escape so they tried it again! Ha ha ha!

I laugh now, but at the time it wasn't funny.  The aquarium was due to open in 10 minutes, we couldn't afford to have escaped Water Rats running around with public in the aquarium.  This meant that we had to catch them and FAST!  First thing was to find out how they had escaped so that it doesn't happen again as soon as we've got them back inside their exhibit.  The next was to find out how many had escaped and then get the trainer and at least one other aquarist who worked with the rats to help capture them.  Luckily, it wasn't an exhibit problem, but rather an aquarist in a hurry that caused the escape (the aquarist cleaning the enclosure didn't close the door behind them whilst cleaning so the rats decided to take the gap).

We soon found them: hiding inbetween the filtration pumps (the machines that clean the water) behind the amazon exhibit, looking a little confused.  Luckily, they love their food and their trainer knows them very well.  It only took two carrots and a whistle to get Beavis and Noris into their travel boxes and back into their exhibit... with 2 minutes to spare.  Phew!  Never a dull life in the aquarium!!

When you think "rat", you think "small".  This is not the case with Water Rats, otherwise known as Nutria. 
Moral of the story: anything can happen...twice.

Have a great week Sea Fans!
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