Naked come the rats | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Naked come the rats

Posted By on Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 9:45 AM

"Arkansas's Favorite Nudist Colony Returns!"

That was the come-on in Little Rock Zoo publicist Susan Altrui's news release about opening of a new exhibit for the zoo's naked mole rats. Who could resist.



The Little Rock Zoo is proud to reintroduce its colony of naked mole-rats now on display in the newly-constructed African Outpost exhibit area. 

The naked mole-rats initially arrived in spring 2005 courtesy of a donation from the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, Virginia and were taken off exhibit in October 2006 to make room for a vampire bat exhibit.  The rats were kept on site at the Zoo while their new exhibit was being built but were not on public display.  To see a behind-the-scenes look at the new exhibit, follow this link:

            Naked mole-rats are hairless African rodents found in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. They are about 3-4 inches long and weigh 1 to 2.5 ounces.  With a life span of up to 20 years, they are the only mammals to live in insect-like colonies of 20-300 with a caste system and a queen-breeding female. There are workers, soldiers and breeding males like ants or bees.  But being much larger, they are even more fun to observe. 

            They are exciting to watch in their forward and backward-scooting motions along the tunnels of the exhibit.  Because there is no fat under their skin, naked mole rats’ skin is wrinkled.  It can be pink, gray or white/yellow.  Naked mole-rats eat roots and tubers in the wild, but in a zoo, they are fed fruit and vegetables.  They have no sweat glands and their eyes and ears are tiny. Like all rodents, their two front teeth continue to grow throughout their lives and are used to dig tunnels.

            The Little Rock Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things.  With more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.  For more information, visit


From the ArkTimes store


Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Arkansas: Land of .......

    Welcome to Arkansas: Land of cowardly politicians, discriminatory laws, inhumane turkey drops and lots and lots of Trump voters.
    • Oct 8, 2016
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation