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Surprising Rats

A documentary movie about how and why our coexistence could be made a lot easier.

Sirius meets Vega and Polaris for the first time.jpg

Above: Sirius (the black-and-white one), an adventurous spirit with a special affinity to water, meets for the first time two new friends. Polaris (down on the left) will turn out to be a born rescue operator, and Vega (on the right) will become the gentle leader of the group.

Rats are often seen in the cultural role of archetypal villains. Yet, the actual animals are anything but. Real rats have an amazing ability for empathy, leading to rescue operations that have stunned scientists studying them. ​ In the documentary Surprising Rats, you will become familiar with a small group of pet rats, each with their own personalities and friendships. You will meet ex-laboratory rats that are learning a new life as pets. The movie will reveal rats' extraordinary learning abilities and secret senses. You will also see breathtaking examples of the acrobatic skills possessed by... well... at least some of these guys. ​ On the level of changes in society, the movie will explore two areas in which there is great unused potential in reducing suffering in the world: improving the living conditions of laboratory rats and developing more humane methods to control the populations of wild rats. Discussions around animal experimentation often focus on the experiments themselves. However, a growing body of research shows the potential to reduce the stress caused by the cage environment where these animals spend most of their time. Likewise, promising new developments are emerging in using painless contraceptives that can be even more effective in population control than traps and poisons. ​

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