We begin with hot animal news including, Utah bans cruel battery cages for egg laying hens, another close call at the San Diego Zoo after a father dropped his child into the elephant enclosure, Russia announces COVID vaccine for animals, encephalitis outbreak in bears causing their excessively friendly behavior, a young boy starts a bunny rescue where some residents work as therapy bunnies, and more! Peter also gives a little bio about the animal advocate, author and TV personality, Cleveland Amory, who started the Fund for Animals in 1967.
Then, in recognition of World Rat Day, Lori tells us all about these ubiquitous mammals.
Rats are very social, affectionate and intelligent. They get lonely and anxious when isolated. But when in their family group (referred to as a mischief) they will care for the injured and sick. Rats can be trained to answer to their name, and have recently been shown to be able to laugh!
In Rajasthan, India, the Karni Mata Temple, the Temple of Rats, is home to about 25,000 animals, where they are revered. The Temple is a destination for Hindu pilgrims. And of course, the first animal of the Chinese Zodiac is the rat, and the Year of the Rat occurred in 2020, 2008, 1996, 1894, 1972, 1960, 1948, 1948, 1924. Those born during such years are thought to possess qualities of the rat: creativity, intelligence, ambition, honesty and generosity.
Finally, a new scientific evidence points away from rats as transmission vectors of bubonic plague. Instead, direct transmission from person to person through fleas, ticks and lice may be the actual mode.