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A massive rat weighting six ponds with a 12-inch tail has been caught in Fuzhou, a city on China’s south coast.
The rat was caught by a Mr Xian, who apparently saw a large crowd of people surrounding the monster in the street. He told local newspapers he thought it might be a valuable specimen, so mustered up the courage and grabbed it by the scruff of its neck.
Mr Xian then shouted “I did it, I caught a rat the size of a cat”. Mr Xian is believed to still be in possession of the animal, after stuffing into a bag and departing the scene.
Local forestry unit has identified the creature as a bamboo rat, but would like to examine the rat more closely before making a final identification.
The bamboo rats is (unsurprisingly) a species of rodent. There are four known varieties and the Chinese bamboo rat is found across China, Burma and Vietnam, with it’s larger cousin, the Sumatra bamboo rat found in Yunnan, Indochina, Malay Peninsula and Sumatra.
Bamboo rats vary in size, the smallest, the Lesser Bamboo Rat is typically 15 to 25 cm long (head and body: tail length is 6–8 cm), and weighs from 500 to 750 g, the largest, the Sumatra Bamboo Rat, can reach lengths of nearly 50 cm with a 20 cm tail, and weighs up to 4 kg.
However they are all bulky, slow-moving rodents that live and forage in extensive burrow systems where they feed on the underground parts of plants. They rarely spend much time above ground.