TOFO, Mozambique, Aug. 3 (UPI) — A few enterprising Mozambicans say they might be able to turn their rabbit-sized, land-mine sniffing African rats into a tourist-attracting oddity.
That there are people known to the UPI as “rat handlers” piques the curiosity though. Are there rat groomers? Rat farmers? Maybe scientifically-formulated rat food in eight enticing flavors? Perhaps I underestimated the grandness of the entrepreneurial spirit here, but I can’t imagine that rat husbandry, supplies and accessories (exercise wheels? rhinestone leashes?) do much to sustain the nation’s economy
And the tourists! No more giant sea turtles? No white sand beaches? Have the safaris become tiresome? Is it no longer enough to take snapshots of the “colorful locals”, post them on your blog and then and show them off at the happy hour back at the Marriott? It strikes me as déclassé to travel halfway around the world to see a “tourist –attracting oddity” that is in fact just a bunch of rodents on ropes.
Of course they are cheaper than dogs and certainly require less security and general fussing and fawning over than royalty or even celebrities. So there is probably virtue in that. Although I just might travel halfway around the world to watch a tethered Paula Abdul and Matt Lauer tiptoe through a minefield.
Where are the PETA people on this anyway? Is a rodent really more expendable that a right whale? Or a princess?