Yesterday an Indomalayan Bamboo Rat (Rhizomys sumatrensis) was rushed into the WFFT Wildlife Hospital for emergency surgery after its teeth had grown through its face. The rat in question, was rescued by its owners 7 years ago from hunters who were going to to eat her. As with all rodents their incisor teeth continuously grow throughout their lives, in captivity without proper diet and/or something to naw and nibble on they become over grown. If the teeth of the animal are not trimmed it can lead to terrible infections, or worse, death. The WFFT Vet Team set out to try and remove her overgrown teeth.
The The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists this species as Least Concern (LC). Due to its widespread distribution, and can be found in high abundances in areas were it is not hunted. Its favourite food is bamboo, the name kind of gives this away, they also feed on cultivated sugar cane and tapioca. This species is extensively hunted as a food source in some parts of its range. Here in Thailand we have seen a huge increase in keeping it as pets.
She was taken into surgery and we were able to trim her badly overgrown teeth. She has recovered from the surgery and is adjusting to her new life at WFFT. We have named her Nuna. Little nuna is very old considering previous estimates of lifespan for this nocturnal species is 4 years. She is rather feisty and has already made it very clear to us that her new temporary hospital enclosure is her new home. Her owners also have five other rescued bamboo rats at home that they have asked to provide a new home to. We are planning to build a large new home for this family of very special rodents. Watch this space for updates on their arrival.