The Possibility of Naturalisation of the African Giant Rat (Cricetomys gambianus, Waterhouse 1840) in the Caribbean

Ross G. Cooper


The African giant rat or the Gambian pouched rat, Cricetomys gambianus [Rodentia: Nesomyidae] is the world’s largest nocturnal rat and native to Africa, many thriving in urban settings. It is advocated that appropriate screening procedures be set up to monitor the possible naturalization of this species in the Caribbean. The establishment of strict protocols for the carriage of exotic pets on boats entering Caribbean ports should be enforced. Residents in the Caribbean wishing to keep this rat as a pet should be required to have a licence, which ensures proper vaccination and housing requirements.

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