Benny and I subscribe to some interesting listservs… One of the few that is fit to discuss here is a zookeeper and exotic pet group that shares information on raising and feeding exotics as well animal enrichment. We have learned so much about enriching the lives of captive porcupines, pangolins and fruit bats that we could open up a Chucky Cheese targeted to these guys.
Recently, one of the group’s members brought our attention to a critter we were not familiar with: the springhaas (also called a springhare). This adorable rodent from Southeast Africa is built much like a kangaroo and hops about on oversized back legs. It is fairly distinct from most rodents in its design as well as its slow birth rate. Mama springhaas give birth to a single mini-springhaas about three times a year. Also unlike most other rodents, the babies are born with fur and the mother cares for them in the burrow for longer than usual, until they are about half-grown.
Springhaas are known for their constant scheming…
Perhaps the strangest thing about springhaas are the unusual rules required for proper care:
1. Keep him out of the light.
2. Don ‘t get him wet.
3. And the most important rule,
the rule you can never forget…
…no matter how much he cries
or how much he begs, never, never feed him
See the transformation of a baby springhaas from adorable newborn to ungainly adult below the fold…
2 hours old
One week old
Three weeks old
Five months old (check out those fingernails…)
This is why we advise against purchasing exotic pets, particularly in Chinatown.
For more information and more springhaas pics visit Rainyeeyore