BALIWAG, Bulacan – Two Northern Luzon cloud rats, scientific name Phloeomys pallidus, were recently rescued in San Rafael and Doña Remedios Trinidad (DRT) towns in Bulacan.
The Northern Luzon giant cloud rat is a timid, forest-dwelling animal with long and rough fur, and is endemic to the island of Luzon where it is found in the northern and central provinces.
Giant cloud rats are primarily tree-dwelling, spending most of their time high in the branches. They can sometimes be seen moving slowly along the forest floor searching for food.
They have small ears, long whiskers, and a densely furred tail. Their large hind feet and long claws make them excellent climbers.
The cloud rat’s body length ranges from 27-30 inches (69-76 centimeters), and their tail ranges from 11-12.5 inches (28-32 centimeters).
The northern Luzon giant cloud rat’s diet in the wild is not well known but may include young leaves, fruit, and crops. At the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, they eat rodent pellets, greens, vegetables, and nuts.
Cloud rats give birth to one young each year, which is typically birthed in the hollow of a tree or a hole in the ground. The mother carries her young firmly attached to a nipple.
The presence of the first Northern Luzon cloud rat was rescued last week was reported by a certain Edmund Dela Cruz of San Rafael town to Morgan Gallego, chief of the forest protection unit of Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO)-Baliwag.
Gallego and his team conducted a successful rescue operation on the wild animal.
After securing the animal, Gallego’s team proceeded on the same day to an abandoned house in Barangay Camachile in DRT where another Northern Luzon cloud rat was rescued.
Upon examination, the CENRO team found out that the wildlife animals were healthy and were immediately released at the more than 2,000-hectare Biak-Na-Bato National Park in San Miguel, Bulacan.
On the other hand, Dennis Vergara, chief of CENRO-Baliwag urged the public to report to the nearest environment authorities in their area of any illegal wildlife activities.
Vergara also warned the public to refrain from catching and eating wildlife meat or bushmeat to prevent the spread of zoonotic disease, an infectious disease caused by a pathogen ( bacteria, virus parasite, or prions) that has jumped from an animal to a human.
Republic Act 9147 or the wildlife protection and conservation law of 2001 prohibits the killing, destroying, trading, collecting, hunting, or possessing wildlife, their by-products, and derivatives. (RONDA BALITA Online)