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Discussion Starter #1
What the title says, I think they're beautiful. I'd have one living with me like a cat, no cage only litter box trained! I love large animals, so having a large rat would be perfect.

I'd have one as a guard dog, people who aren't used to rats are freaked out by the small ones let alone a huaaaageeee type of rat running at them.
Would any of you get one or are they just a little too big?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jap-syN_Zo
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I've been reading bits and bobs about them, they live for twice as long as a small rat so you'd need about 8 years dedication to them so definitely an animal I'll buy when I'm settling down into a routine, after travelling etc.
 

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8 years :eek: wow that is a commitment that shouldn't be take lightly because I cannot imagine it would be easy to re-home a GIANT rat hahahaha. Picture the screams when walking down town with a rat that large on a leash. :D If only I could get Freddy to live for 8 years.. I wonder if they crossbreed..
 

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I have heard that they are not quite domesticated and can be quite bitey. Definitely require someone who can handle that. But I know a few people with them and they are cute.

Illegal to own in the US (well to import and pretty sure impossible to find a breeder so yeah) You are lucky u r in the UK atleast lol
 

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Are you sure they are illegal in the US? I thought there was a bill of some sort that would have banned them, but people protested. Then again maybe that was another species- I tend to get confused when it comes to which exotics are legal where and what not. They are very cool creatures, though. Does the pouch in their name refer to the food pouches in their cheeks or do they have actual pouches like possums and kangaroos?
 

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eh I could be wrong...in another rat group I am in they discuss it quite often as a member has some. And they said that they used to be illegal period but that recently it was changed that it is just illegal to import them. And while there were some in the US that the period of time means there should not be any young enough to breed. So it makes it fairly impossible to get any that way.
 

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There's a lady in the states who breeds them! The wild breeding stock she tamed is bogey when stressed, but the ones she bred herself have never bitten her
 

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The pouch refers to their cheeks. They are not marsupials.
 

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One of our members has one, you could ask her how life is with one. I think the user name is Crezzard.
 

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I wouldn't mind one, but I don't think I would ever get one. When I was reading up on them, I discovered they can get aggressive when they get sexually mature. It hurts enough when my blind rat accidentally bites me instead of the treat I'm giving her. I don't want something that size taking a chunk out of me! LoL
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have heard that they are not quite domesticated and can be quite bitey. Definitely require someone who can handle that. But I know a few people with them and they are cute.


Yeah, I read the same too. I suppose, like any animal, if you buy it as a young baby and brought it up being handled by different people it'll domesticate just have to be careful not to annoy the thing too much. It hurts being bitten by a rat, wouldn't want their teeth sinking in to me, that's for sure.

One of our members has one, you could ask her how life is with one. I think the user name is Crezzard.


I'll check it out definitely, I wouldn't get one until I've come back from travelling. 5-8 years is a long time to take care of a creature, wouldn't buy something like that just to sell it in a few years time.




 

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Unfortunately they are banned in the United States, regardless of whether or not they were bred and born here or not. I was reading on the USDA website the other day that any African rodent is illegal here, even if it is several generations removed from Africa and was born here. I think in order to keep one, you'd have to have a zoo exhibition permit or an educational permit or something of the like.
 

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Or you could just go to the Florida Keys and catch one. Recent reports indicate that the former reports that the GPR's were all wiped out seem to have been at least slightly exaggerated.
 

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Unfortunatly, Gambians aren't as good of pets as the ratties this forum knows and loves. I would LOVE a gient rat, don't get me wrong, but they aren't just a larger version of the rats we know. (Like how mice and rats are nothing a like, but look similar.) Yes, they can bee sweet, but most of them are sweet until they mature, and then bite and become territorial against their human. They aren't really domesticated as their small cousins are, and are still wild animals with big, extremely strong teeth. They need a diet of fresh veggies, as well as other foods. They need a LARGE cage, and you can't let them run freely like a cat, or they will get teritorial. Someone suggested that they are more likely to be ok pets if you confine playtime to a room. Also, they are even worse chewers then the ratties we know and love, and will actually distroy your house and anything in their cage. They don't get along with other animals, (sometimes they can be trained to be animal friendly, but gambians will kill and eat regular rats, and attack and kill or injure other pets.)
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I understand the risks of the Gambian, but I'm not the type of person to go and buy something without knowing a lot about it first I do believe an animal like this would require a lot of attention which is why I wouldn't buy one until I know I've settled into the-rest-of-my-life home however I don't agree with you believing that they become nasty with age. Of course, like any other animal, there's a chance but with enough love, attention and training I don't think you would have that problem. I've wanted the Gambian since I was about eighteen so I have read a lot about them and have only come across bad stories several times and even then it seemed the animal wasn't handled enough (not only by the owner itself, but to get it used to others) the only thing I've read about territorial issues is with males, usually around sexual maturity but even then have been known to calm down and if not, have their testicles removed but of course I'm not speaking about them in general, I assume that some would/could be aggressive, just like any other animal, but I believe they can be tamed and I believe them to be just as gentle/intelligent/caring as their cousins but only if they're shown the time and attention needed.

As for the chewing, this seems to be my only downfall with them as they are known to destroy anything. Aggressive issues and behavioural training I'd be fine with but to have something like that running around, you'd definitely have to build them a play den for them not to ruin every single piece of furniture they come in contact with.

No doubt about it, I'm definitely getting one.
 

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Yep Dusty - she has several GPRs - I think they may be legal in some states now, but banned in many. The ban had to do with the fear of importing monkey-pox, which African rats can carry
 

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I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you or imply that you couldn't take care of it, and I don't believe they are just mean or anything, I just know that they can become aggressive when mature if you don't give them their /specific needs/. I was just making sure you knew about all the things I know so you understand the risks so you know how to take care of it when you do get it, but you are clearly knowledgeable of the risks.

I wasn't trying to talk you out of getting one, just making sure you know what they need to be happy in case you can't provide it, but seeing as though you mentioned not getting it until you live in your forever home, and you seem knowledgeable about them, I'm less worried. Please understand that the warnings are meant to try to educate people who don't know the differences and might buy one with out knowing anything about them, as many people tend to do, which can lead to unhappy people and an unhappy rat.

I also noticed you are from wales, so the legality of these rodents in the states doesn't apply to you, lol. I know that the biggest breeders of these animals are from the UK, (mainly England,) so you shouldn't have a problem finding one, (or two so they keep each other company, <3 ) close to, if not in, South Wales, but I'm sure you are more knowledgeable then myself on the topic.

Yes, they need a lot of attention, and I heard keeping play time to a room, (so maybe having a rat proof room where the cage is where they can run around under supervision,) helps with keeping them from getting territorial against you, and more bonded toward you. I hadn't thought of neutering, but I assume it helps a lot with aggression similarly to their small cousins, and females are less aggressive by nature.

When you do get your rattie, you should make a blog and document their growth and life! It could help shed light on the proper ways to care for these animals, and the good and bad sides of them! : )
 

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They're adorable! I love how they jump around, when you get it make sure you give us up to dates on it! I'd love to hear stories about having one!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you or imply that you couldn't take care of it


Don't be silly, you didn't offend me! I'm sorry if that's what it seemed like, I'm sure it's because I can't really express tones through text; if we were conversing irl you'd be sure to know I was just adding to your comment! It might also be the fact I'm British, I've been told by my American/Canadian friends that I seem a bit short but I assure you I didn't mean to be rude but sorry again if I came across as it.

I also noticed you are from wales, so the legality of these rodents in the states doesn't apply to you


Yes, I've noticed the comments about Gambians being illegal, was it due to an outbreak of some sort of pox? I've read a lot about the cull of them and that they're quite a pest in certain countries?

Yes, they need a lot of attention, and I heard keeping play time to a room, (so maybe having a rat proof room where the cage is where they can run around under supervision,) helps with keeping them from getting territorial against you, and more bonded toward you.
Yeah, you're completely right. I've read up that several people usually keep the on their beds or in a neutral zone, whenever they stray away to explore they pop them back into the cage to let them know that if they try to leave their play area then play time is over but I'm such a brat with animals; whatever I have, they have and wherever I go, they go but I don't think you can take a risk like that with a wild creature like the Gambian.. on the other hand though, I'm not a fan of people irl so maybe having an over protective Gambian guard rat is a good choice for me.

I'm sure you are more knowledgeable then myself on the topic.


Nonsense, what you've informed be about is really helpful; I was just sharing my knowledge with you that's all. Really need to work on my people skills; I'm like a cave woman you see, all pokey and grunty like "Me Kelsey" *smacks human* "be funny, funny being"



Dguizzy
They're adorable! I love how they jump around, when you get it make sure you give us up to dates on it! I'd love to hear stories about having one!


I sure will if this forum is still around when I finally purchase one, it's going to be a long while yet! I've watched so many videos and they all seem so sweet but you have to watch out cos' you can always buy an aggressive one which is just short tempered by nature so it is a bit of an out-of-the-comfort-zone animal. Would you ever think about getting one/or maybe two like I was :D



 
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