A little, very cute, red rodent, not seen for 113 years turns up in a Colombian nature reserve alive and well, according to conservation NGO ProAves.
The nocturnal Red-crested Tree Rat, walked up to two ProAves conservation volunteers as they were getting ready turn in for the night, at the El Dorado Nature Reserce Eco-lodge, in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, northern Colombia.
The creature, roughly the size of a guinea-pig spent two hours with Lizzie Noble and Simon McKeown posing for photographs before wandering bank into the darkness.
Noble said “He just shuffled up the handrail near where we were sitting and seemed totally unperturbed by all the excitement he was causing.”
In fact, the volunteers were studying amphibians and were unaware of the significance of their night-time visitor until Noble sent the photos to naturalist Paul Salaman, who identified the animal as Santamartamys rufodorsalis which hasn’t been seen since 1898.
Noble added “We are absolutely delighted to have rediscovered such a wonderful creature after just a month of volunteering with ProAves.”