Luzon giant cloud rat at S'pore Night Safari looks startled with half-eaten corn in its hands


Ashley Tan | January 22, 2020, 02:19 AM

If you are a nocturnal animal and love supper, this got to be your spirit animal in the Year of Rat.

This is a Luzon giant cloud rat at the Singapore Night Safari:

Photo courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore

From its expression, the Luzon giant cloud rat, holding onto half-eaten corn, is clearly having the same regrets as us for snacking or having late-night suppers.

Nocturnal rats living in treetops

If you have not heard of this unusual-looking creature before—that's because it can only be found in treetops at Luzon in the Philippines as you can tell by its name "cloud rat".

The Luzon giant cloud rats are coated in rough white to grey fur with dark markings around its eyes, much like the dark circles that many of us might have after years of staying up late.

Visitors can now head over to the Singapore Night Safari to catch a glimpse of these rodents.

This Chinese New Year, the keepers also tucked some of their favourite nuts and vegetables into an enrichment device shaped like a firecracker.

This is to encourage the Luzon giant cloud rats to forage for food.

cloud rat night safari Photo courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

If you're looking for something to do over the CNY break, the various wildlife parks in Singapore have several other cute critters to look at too.

Capybara, other adorable rats & a rat-like bird

At the River Safari, visitors can meet the agouti (pronounced as ah-goo-tee), a rodent hailing from the forests of Central and South America which somewhat resembles a small capybara.

Or a really large guinea pig.

It measures up to 62cm long, and has its coarse hair covered by an oily and pungent substance that acts as a natural raincoat.

Photo courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore

You can also check out the Gambian pouched rat at the Singapore Zoo, that sports cheek pouches for storing food.

These rats are the size of a small domestic cat and can be trained to detect land mines.

Visitors can also check out the capybaras, the largest rodent in the world.

A capybara. Photo from Eric Kilby / Flickr

Capybara singapore zoo Photo courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.

Here's sneak peek at some of the animals in their exhibits.

Feed manatees & other CNY programmes

Visitors can watch animals like the orangutans and tapir celebrate CNY in their own way as they receive red packets and other festive treats.

These new items help serve as enrichment for the animals too.

Photo courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore

From Jan. 25 to Feb. 8, lion dance performances, a "Zoo-diac Trial" with the 12 Zodiac animals spread across the zoo, and education booths on the furry rodents will be available for visitors to enjoy.

According to Wildlife Reserves Singapore, there will also be a chance to feed the manatees at River Safari and witness their "special Chinese New Year greetings".

You can find out more information about the activities here.

Top photo from Hans Norelius / Flickr and courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore