Cane Rat
Photo Credit: Wendy Willson, Lauren Beckley, Nicci Wright - JWVH

The Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital recently took in a Greater Cane Rat, and the enormous male left them in awe of his size (and appetite).


Johannesburg, South Africa (08 July 2022) – The Greater Cane Rat is a fascinating creature from the rodent family. It is about the size of a small dog and lives on the roots and blades of grass. This Greater Cane Rat was rescued from a veld fire and taken to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital.

The wildlife vet specialises in the treatment and care of South Africa’s indigenous wild animals. They were very excited to share the news of their new, rare patient. The Greater Cane Rat is not a regular patient for any vet, and even catching a glimpse of one in the wild is a rare treat.

They can grow to be about 60m long and nearly 20cm tall with a weight of 5.2kgs in males and females slightly smaller than that.

They live near rivers and streams in the grassy reedbeds and banks. A colony will be made up of a few females led by one male. They are nocturnal and will run towards the water when in danger. Sadly, these magnificent creatures are very popular on the bush meat market.

As you can see below, this Cane Rat has exceeded the average size and is something to behold!

“This Greater cane rat (Thryonomys swinderianus) was seen by a concerned member of public, trying to escape from a veld fire. They alerted the Edenvale SPCA who caught and the transported this adorable patient to us for medical examination and treatment.

On admission he was sedated to facilitate a thorough AND safe examination. The enormous adult male, weighed a whopping 6.2kg, and thankfully had no injuries or burn wounds. He did smell like smoke, but there was no damage to his lungs.

He was kept for a few days for observation, and after eating us out of house and home, he was released back into a suitable habitat.

Massive thank you to the member of public who showed concern and reported the case to the Edenvale SPCA.

Thanks to Inspector Hope and Field Officer Tommy for their speedy response and safely catching and transporting the cane rat to us.

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

We are so happy that this special creature is back in the wild. If you would like to support the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital in their treatment and care of wildlife, you can find out how here.

Sources: JWVH
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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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