Photo Credit: Ashleigh Pienaar

The Common Mole-rat is rarely seen above ground, but a recent rescue gave a great insight into how these unique creatures look.


Johannesburg, South Africa (10 May 2020) – Animals are fascinating and when we get to see weird and wonderful creatures, we get even more excited! The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital recently welcomed a very rare patient.

The vet was called out to assist with a mole-rat that had been found floating in a swimming pool. The mole-rat was thankfully found in time and taken to the veterinary hospital for observation. While there, the team marvelled in the creature having rarely seen one so close.

According to the Endangered Wildlife Trust, the Common African Mole-rat’s population is stable but they are used in the bushmeat trade, persecuted by farmers who see its as an agriculture pest and homeowners too, have problems with the tiny creature.

“Generally Mole-rats are good ecosystem engineers, as they enrich the humus content of the soil, aerate the soil, assist with drainage systems and enhance plant species diversity (Hagenah & Bennett 2013). Additionally, they create refuges for other species to use to escape fire. Common Mole-rats also eat geophytes that contain cardiac glycosides (for example, Ornithogalum spp., Homeria spp., Morea spp.), which are toxic to livestock (Bennett 2013). They are eaten by a wide range of predators (Bennett 2013).” – The Endangered Wildlife Trust

It isn’t every day you get to see a mole-rat up-close and personal. The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital photographer, Ashleigh Pienaar, captured two stunning photos of the rescued mole-rat. Once they were sure it was stable, the mole-rat was released back into the garden it was rescued from.

Photo Credit: Ashleigh Pienaar
Photo Credit: Ashleigh Pienaar

“This Common mole-rat (Cryptomys hottentotus) was rescued by a Chartwell resident after she fell in their pool! She was brought to our hospital to ensure that she was okay. After spending a few days with us under observation, she was returned to the premises from which she came – far away from the pool!

We hope you also appreciate her distinct features as much as we did – we don’t often see mole-rat patients.

We treat indigenous animals free of charge, relying solely on the donations and support of our community.”

Below are the various payment options for the Wildlife Vet, they rely on donations so if you are able to, you can donate through the methods below.


Paypal:… (For the USA and international-based donors)

Johannesburg Wildlife NPC
FNB Cheque account
Account nr: 62658400264
Branch code: 255355
Swift code: FIRNZAJJ

Sources: Facebook
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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