Things That Matter

Hundreds Of Street Rats Were Taken In By A Peruvian Man Who Trained Them To Do Tricks

Screenshot via YouTube

Rats are such interesting creatures. They’re usually associated with dirt and disease, but they’re also some of the most popular animals on the internet.

Those who have been around rats for longer than a few seconds (hey, that’s how long it usually takes us before we run screaming!) know that they’re highly intelligent creatures.

And no one knows this fact better than Miguel Angel Silva, affectionately known as the “Rat Man of Peru“.

@dorelycaluasalvad

Yo haciendo malabares con mi ex 😂😂😂😂

♬ Dance Monkey – Tones And I

Recently, a TikTok went viral showing a man on the streets of Lima playing with a group of rats on the sidewalk. The video begins with what can only be described as a rat-version of Cirque du Soleil.

The man holds his finger out like a trapeze before one of his rat friends jumps onto his finger and flips around on it like a trapeze artist.

The video continues with the man crouched on the ground, his rats in an orderly line in front of him.

It’s immediately evident that these aren’t your ordinary rats–they’re super obedient. Trained, even.

To make things even more entertaining, the TikTok poster captioned the video with: “Yo haciendo malabares con mi ex.” (“Me playing games with my ex.”)

While the TikToker doesn’t identify the man, he is very-well known to locals. His name is Miguel Angel Silva, otherwise known as “Ratman”.

Silva has been covered extensively by different media channels for his abnormal lifestyle. Not only does he perform tricks with his rats on the street, but he also lives with them–around 100 of them, to be exact.

Silva, who is also a drummer in local rock bands, spends almost all of his time with the rats–he often has one on his shoulder as a travel companion. Camera crew have followed him as he goes about his normal day, running errands, playing music–all with a rat on his shoulder. They even eat from the same plates as him.

In various interviews, Silva has revealed that his love for rats started as a child, when he saved a rat from being killed from his friend. The rat ended up living in his roof for a while before he permanently befriended it. It was then that Ratman was born.

Silva says he loves rats because they are misunderstood creatures, shunned and abused by the public.

He acknowledges that many people judge him harshly for his lifestyle, thinking he is dirty and his home is unsanitary. But Silva says he keeps his rats clean, washing them everyday and making sure they’re never infected with dangerous parasites.

We’re glad Silva is following his dreams regardless of what people think. Hopefully, we’ll see him on the streets of Peru one day.

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The Last Wild Macaw In Rio de Janeiro Visits the Zoo Everyday Because She’s Lonely

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The Last Wild Macaw In Rio de Janeiro Visits the Zoo Everyday Because She’s Lonely

via Getty Images

If you’re the type of person who constantly complains about being single, this story will most definitely resonate with you. In Rio de Janeiro, there is a macaw that experts believe is the only free macaw currently living in Rio. To make things more tragic, this Brazilian macaw is so lonely that she makes daily visits to her fellow macaws at Rio de Janeiro’s zoo.

Every morning, a blue-and-yellow macaw (affectionately named Juliet) flies into the enclosure where the zoo’s macaw lives and canoodles with her fellow species.

According to the staff of the Rio de Janeiro Zoo, Juliet has been making daily visits to the enclosure for 20 years. The last time a blue-and-yellow macaw like Juliet was seen in the wild was in 1818. So it’s safe to say she’s fiending for some company. The average lifespan of a macaw is 35-years, which means Juliet has spent the majority of her life as a single lady.

“They’re social birds, and that means they don’t like to live alone, whether in nature or captivity. They need company,” said Neiva Guedes, president of the Hyacinth Macaw Institute, to the Associated Press. “[Juliet] very probably feels lonely, and for that reason goes to the enclosure to communicate and interact.”

Luckily for Juliet, the Rio de Janeiro Zoo is launching a program called Refauna that is aiming to breed and reintroduce blue-and-yellow macaws back into the wild.

The Refauna program plans to breed 20 macaw chicks and give them “training” on “forest food sources, the peril of predators and avoidance of power lines.” Once they’re thoroughly educated, workers will release the birds into the Tijuca Forest National Park to live full, free lives. Some people are hoping that with so many macaws flying free out in the open, Juliet will feel less lonely.

But some animal experts are warning the general public not to feel too bad for Juliet. “We don’t want to project human feelings,” biologist Angelita Capobianco told AP News. I look at the animal, and see an animal at ease.” That’s nice to hear. We love a strong, independent woman who doesn’t need a man to thrive.

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This Mexican College Student Is Going Viral For Breeding the Largest Bunnies In the World

Things That Matter

This Mexican College Student Is Going Viral For Breeding the Largest Bunnies In the World

Photo via yakinkiro/Instagram

Look out Bad Bunny. There’s another breed of bunny in town that’s taking the internet by storm. A college student in Mexico recently went viral for the oddest thing. He has genetically engineered a strain of rabbits to be the largest in the world.

21-year-old Kiro Yakin has become a viral sensation after internet users have seen him with pictures of the giant bunnies he genetically engineered.

Yakin, a student at the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla on the Xicotepec campus, is studying veterinary and animal husbandry. He began his experimentation by breeding two unique rabbit types together. The Flemish Giant rabbit and other, longer-eared bunnies that Yakin happened to notice. As a result, his monster-bunny was born.

According to Yakin, his experimental bunnies grow up to 22 pounds  Flemish Giant, while the average Flemish giant weighs 15 pounds. But make no mistake, Yakin’s bunny experiment was no accident. “It takes an average of 3 to 4 years to reproduce this giant species,” he told Sintesis.

Yakin’s ultimate goal is to breed a rabbit that can grow up to 30 pounds. “I am currently studying genetics to see how to grow this breed of giant rabbits more,” he said.

Yakin, who has had a soft spot for rabbits since he was a child (pun intended), now cares for a whopping fifty giant rabbits out of his parents’ home.

Luckily, his parents are supportive enough of his dream that they support their son (and his bunnies) financially. “I have the financial support and support of my parents to buy food a week for all 50 giant rabbits,” Yakin told Sintesis.

But he also admitted his project has a long way to go. “So far I have not set aside the time or budget that is required to start the project more seriously,” he said.

The only thing that’s preventing Yakin from committing all his time and energy to creating even bigger bunnies is–what else?–money.

Photo via yakinkiro/Instagram

Although he already submitted a proposal to his university to try and expand his research, as of now, he is self-financed. However, Yakin makes a bit of extra cash by selling the giant bunnies to private customers.

His ultimate goal though, is to open up a large, professional farm where he can breed and cross-breed his bunnies to his heart’s content.

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