Wildlife rehabilitators help sick and injured animals, and they give these animals a new lease on life. They care for most types of animals and conditions, but they may not help much for rodents. While they do take rodents, they do not keep them to help them.
To rehabilitators, rodents are either lab specimen or reptile food. When they get their hands on rodents, they are going to test on and, likely, kill it. The killing of the rodents is completely humane, using CO2 chambers most of the time, and they find a use for the rodents upon death.
The rodents become part of their research or they become part of other animals’ diet, like snakes. Either way, the rehabilitators find a use for them.
Research relies on rodents. Thanks to the biology of rodents, they make for great test subjects. They can complete tasks and researchers can use them to test different diseases and cures. This can help the researchers to improve medicine and science as a whole. Researchers already test on rodents. Mice and rats are common in most testing locations, and adding more is always a necessity. Bringing in rodents that wildlife rehabilitators collect can help keep their research on track and it can bring in a wider selection of test subjects. The researchers may test on these rodents dead or alive, depending on their individual needs. They may also breed them for further testing and use.
Plenty of animals rely on rodents for food. They are close to the bottom of the food chain, so it is not uncommon for animals to feed on them. One of the most common types to eat rodents is reptiles. For wildlife rehabilitators, who bring in a large amount of reptiles, having more rodents on hand is always a good thing.
They do not feed these live, though. Since rodents can harm the reptiles, they will put the rodents into CO2 tanks to kill them quickly and then freeze them instantly. This keeps the reptiles safe and gives them the food they need. Wildlife rehabilitators may not protect rodents, but they rely on them nonetheless. Rats are a source of research and food for the researchers and animals there. If they have regular access to these rodents, they can continue doing their work and keeping the animals at the center fed. Rats are helpful for them in nearly every way.
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