THE prairie dog, despite what its name suggests, is actually part of the rodent family.
The capybara is a mammal native to South America and is the largest living rodent in the world.
One can view these critters in the flesh by visiting Farm in The City (FITC) in Seri Kembangan.
Its chief executive officer Datuk Allan Phoon said around 20 species of animals from the rodent family were specially brought in for the Year of the Rat.
“We have brought in rodents from Argentina, Mongolia, China, other Asian countries as well as Africa.
“We have among the largest rodents, such as the capybara, Pantagonian mara and porcupine.
“The Degu is one of the less well-known rodents. It has very strong teeth.
“When we first placed it in the normal enclosure, it bit through it and we had to make another one strong enough to house it, ” he said.
Also exhibited are the long-eared jerboa, dormouse, chinchilla, Sphynx rat and laboratory rat, among others.
A computer mouse was also placed among the exhibits – in recognition of the most common rodent of all.
Phoon hopes the exhibition can change the public’s negative perception of rodents.
“People think rodents are dirty and some are scared of them.
“The purpose of this exhibition is to let people know more about these animals and change their mindset, ” he said.
“Last year, more than 200,000 students visited Farm in the City as we provide many education programmes, ” said Phoon.
The exhibition will be held during the Chinese New Year period and the animals will be placed in their respective enclosures after that.
Some will be sent to KL Tower Mini Zoo and Phantasy Farm in Port Dickson, both owned by FITC.
This is not the first time it has held special exhibitions to celebrate the Lunar New Year.
In the past, there were exhibitions held in conjunction with the goat and rooster years.
Aside from the rodent exhibition, visitors can check out other attractions such as the bird aviary, reptile cavern, turtle and tortoise farm and exhibition hall.
Entrance fees are between RM32 and RM58.
Farm in The City is located at Lot 40187-40188, Jalan Prima Tro-pika Barat, Bandar Putra Permai, Seri Kembangan, Selangor.
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