Friday, June 17, 2011

Rats and bees could solve the problem

What problem, you may ask. The problem of many African animals facing extinction. Currently, some animals are being pushed towards extinction because the people in Africa have to eat (yeah, the nerve of them). It is called bush meat.

Scientific American states:

The riBees in a Kenyan top bar, a type of man-made beehive used for beekeeping in Africasing and often illegal trade in bushmeat—wild-caught animals, often threatened species such as primates, birds and elephants—threatens African biodiversity and could drive numerous species into extinction. Finding replacements for that trade could solve the need for both income and subsistence in many African communities. The answer, according to experts speaking at a meeting held in Nairobi this week, could include promoting beekeeping and farming jumbo-size African rodents known as cane rats (two species of the genus Thryonomys) for food.

Bees, of course, make perfect sense. We do that here. But then, I tried to imagine how rats could feed a nation - I've seen them in the pet stores, there's not much meat on them. And really, how good could they taste?

Then I found this:

The cane rat is not your average subway rat. It can grow almost two feet long and weigh 20 pounds.

That’s about the size of a healthy cat or a small dog.

In parts of West and Central Africa, cane rat meat is considered a delicacy. People have traditionally hunted the animals in the wild, but in Cameroon there are efforts underway to domesticate them.

Imagine your Harris Hawk trying to tackle one of those.

Rats have been a food source for thousands of years - This seems like a good plan to me.

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