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Cuban couple keeps rodents called huitias as pets

Cuban couple domesticates large Caribbean rodents called huitias

In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Ana Pedraza gives her pet huitia, Congui, a drink of coffee, in Bainoa, Cuba. Conqui and her brood like to drink coffee a...
In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Ana Pedraza gives her pet huitia, Congui, a drink of coffee, in Bainoa, Cuba. Five years ago Pedraza and her husband Rafa...
In this  Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Rafael Lopez strokes his pet huitia Pancho, in Bainoa, Cuba. While some huitias can be aggressive, the 50-year-old music...
In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Pancho, a domesticated huitia, confronts a camera, in Bainoa, Cuba. With their rope-like, dark tails, long front teeth, a...
In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Congui, a domesticated huitia, rides on the front door of an American classic car driven by its owner Rafael Lopez, in Ba...

Cuba Domesticated Rodents

In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Ana Pedraza gives her pet huitia, Congui, a drink of coffee, in Bainoa, Cuba. Conqui and her brood like to drink coffee a...

Cuba Domesticated Rodents

In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Ana Pedraza gives her pet huitia, Congui, a drink of coffee, in Bainoa, Cuba. Five years ago Pedraza and her husband Rafa...

Cuba Domesticated Rodents

In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Rafael Lopez strokes his pet huitia Pancho, in Bainoa, Cuba. While some huitias can be aggressive, the 50-year-old music...

Cuba Domesticated Rodents

In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Pancho, a domesticated huitia, confronts a camera, in Bainoa, Cuba. With their rope-like, dark tails, long front teeth, a...

Cuba Domesticated Rodents

In this Nov. 17, 2014 photo, Congui, a domesticated huitia, rides on the front door of an American classic car driven by its owner Rafael Lopez, in Ba...

BAINOA, Cuba (AP) -- Some people keep guinea pigs or hamsters as pets.

But in Cuba, where a larger, more exotic rodent runs wild, Ana Pedraza and her husband prefer the huitia.

With a rope-like tail and long front teeth, the huitia looks like a giant rat, only cuter, some would say. They live in Cuba and other Caribbean islands where they are sometimes hunted for food.

But Pedraza and her husband Rafael Lopez say they only want to want to protect and take care of the animals, which measure nearly a foot long (about 30 centimeters), with the largest ones weighing in bigger than a small dog.

The couple began collecting huitias about five years ago when they found one languishing on a roadside and named her Congui. They found her a mate and now have more than a half-dozen huitias in their home about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of the capital, Havana.

Congui and her brood like to drink sweetened coffee and munch on crackers and vegetables. Her son Pancho enjoys an occasional nip of rum.


Updated : 2021-10-19 16:03 GMT+08:00