Rattie, who was discovered in a box of meal worms sent to Seaview Wildlife Encounter on the Isle of Wight. Picture courtesy of Seaview Wildlife Encounter.
A BABY rat may have escaped becoming a reptile’s dinner — by stowing away in a box of food sent to an Isle of Wight wildlife attraction.
A keeper at Seaview Wildlife Encounter could not believe their eyes when he opened a box of mealworms sent from a food supplier in Cambridge and unearthed the stowaway now named 'Mr Rattie’ by staff.
The baby rat is thought to have hidden in the box of mealworms from Simon’s Rodents in Cambridgeshire, which breeds rats and mice as pets and also as food for other captive creatures including snakes.
Mr Rattie then travelled across England by road and across the Solent by Hovercraft before he was eventually discovered by the keeper.
The domesticated brown rat, known as Rattus Norvegicus, has now been added to 'Pet’s Corner’ at the attraction and Simon’s Rodents have also promised to send another rat to Seaview to keep him company.
Jules Brittan, general manager at Seaview Wildlife Encounter, said: "Mr Rattie has become an instant hit with the animal care team. Simon of Simon’s Rodents who supplied the unexpected gift has kindly offered to send Mr Rattie a friend (another young male rat) at no charge.
"These are sociable animals needing the company of other rats in order to thrive. In the meantime, Mr Rattie is being temporarily housed in a bird cage, spoilt with all manner of tasty treats and being taken home to different keepers’ houses at night for sleep overs and cuddles."