Feb 03

Unconditional Love

There are those who play the field like rabbits, and those who find their true love and stick by them through thick and thin -- like the Madagascan giant jumping rat.

Whether it’s because they’re known to be territorial (both males and females, in equal measure), passionate (they have one to two pregnancies per year) or desperate (with a tail like that, it can be hard to find Mr./Ms. Right), this is one of the few rodents in existence that is monogamous.

What’s more, the males take an active role in caring for the young – which we all know is one of the secrets to a happy relationship for any species.

Alas, as with so many of the world’s legendary romances, giant jumping rat couples have their fair share of challenges. Outside threats such as habitat loss due to slash and burn agriculture, charcoal production, logging, human settlements, feral dogs and cats, and an invasive species of black rat that isn’t indigenous to the dry, deciduous, coastal forest where the jumping rat lives, have rendered these sweethearts – and their entire species – endangered.

It’s our duty to celebrate and defend this great love story. With help from our donors, the Omaha Zoo Foundation has long been committed to supporting Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium’s work in saving the Madagascan giant jumping rat. And, this month, we’re asking you to share their love with your one and only.

Adopt one of our giant jumping rats at the $15 level, and your Valentine will receive a special “Hoppy Valentine’s Day” postcard, featuring this unique and, ahem, lovable endangered species. Give by Wednesday, Feb. 8 to receive your certificate by Feb. 14. If you would like us to send the card outside of the Omaha metro-area, please adopt no later than Monday, Feb. 6. For more information, or to complete the process, visit OmahaZooFoundation.org or call our office at (402)738-2073.

Not only will you be giving your amour a unique (and probably unexpected!) valentine, but also the joy of knowing they are helping to support the Omaha Zoo’s animal residents. What more in the name of love?