Boomtown Rats: Amazing musical rodents

September 17, 2010 | by | 31 Comments

These incredible pictures show two pet rats which have been trained by their owner to hold tiny instruments in their paws.

Photographer Ellen van Deelen, 51, used food treats to teach Moppy and Witje to pose up with a variety of musical instruments.

The ”very intelligent” creatures eventually learned to hold everything from panpipes to flutes, tubas, trombones, banjos and even saxophones.

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Single Ellen, from Roosendaal, Holland, revealed her pair of rodents are ”really talented actors.”

She said: ”I never used to like rats, in fact, I really hated them. But when I bought these two I realised they were very intelligent and clean animals.

”I only got the idea to pose them with instruments when I went shopping and saw a tiny guitar for sale in a window.

”When I held the camera they did whatever I wanted them to. They are so clever they even recognise their own names. I just fell in love with them.

”They know exactly how to pose and both are really talented actors. We have a really good understanding. They always know what I am saying.”

Ellen bought Moppy and Witje in November 2007 after she adopted a lonely rat and fell in love with the tiny mammals.

She came up with the idea for taking photographs of them with instruments after she spotted the miniature guitar.

But Moppy and Witje’s collection of miniature musical instruments is now almost endless.

Professional photographer Ellen is now considering training more off the
rodents to ‘play’ the instruments and expand the band.

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Comments (31)

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  1. Gavin says:

    a-w-e-s-o-m-e.

  2. Krystie says:

    Oh wow, this makes me want to go adopt some mice and do the same :)

    • R Mosby says:

      Those aren’t mice, those are rats. They’re much more intelligent than mice that will just crap in your hand and bite you. I’ve owned both. Rats make much better pets.

    • R Mosby says:

      Those aren’t mice, those are rats. They’re much more intelligent than mice that will just crap in your hand and bite you. I’ve owned both. Rats make much better pets.

  3. Mjones672 says:

    yeah, but can they PLAY those instruments?

  4. Robotfarts says:

    this makes me want to buy big heavy shoes

  5. Robotfarts says:

    this makes me want to buy big heavy shoes

  6. A_leger26 says:

    AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

  7. Velvetbrux says:

    someone always has to come in with the “kill the rodent” comment, don’t they. well it is their loss for not accepting how loving and intelligent our precious little fuzzies are.

  8. Velvetbrux says:

    someone always has to come in with the “kill the rodent” comment, don’t they. well it is their loss for not accepting how loving and intelligent our precious little fuzzies are.

  9. Raptor says:

    Rats are disgusting vermin and should be destroyed as such. They are trying to eat the bloody things, not hold them “cutely”. This whole thing is pathetic.

  10. Raptor says:

    Rats are disgusting vermin and should be destroyed as such. They are trying to eat the bloody things, not hold them “cutely”. This whole thing is pathetic.

  11. Curiousgoods13 says:

    I know a lot of musicians who would crack up if they saw these !! It’s pretty amazing how smart animals are !!!

  12. Curiousgoods13 says:

    I know a lot of musicians who would crack up if they saw these !! It’s pretty amazing how smart animals are !!!

  13. rat lover says:

    these pictures are for rats lovers to view, they are loved very much and saying stupid shit like that just shows what a closed minded, idiot you really are. does it make you people feel better to say hurtful things to people? does it make you feel bigger,cooler? well, i have news for you: you are not.

  14. rat lover says:

    these pictures are for rats lovers to view, they are loved very much and saying stupid shit like that just shows what a closed minded, idiot you really are. does it make you people feel better to say hurtful things to people? does it make you feel bigger,cooler? well, i have news for you: you are not.

  15. 3dogshouse says:

    Eeeee! I love them! What a marvelous and clever thing you and your fuzzies have managed here!

  16. 3dogshouse says:

    Eeeee! I love them! What a marvelous and clever thing you and your fuzzies have managed here!

  17. Sandra says:

    another beautiful example of how EVERTHING in life deserves the chance to excel….It’s time humans stop acting like we are the only species that has rights to freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I am grateful for your unusual efforts as it will help awaken many people to the LONG suppressed capabilities of the animal kingdom.

    • aussiesheplover says:

      Actually, it’s “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
      Freedom and liberty are basically the same concept.

      Also militant animal-rights protesters are idiots, most domesticated animals would just cause trouble and get hit by cars if you “liberated” them.

  18. Sandra says:

    another beautiful example of how EVERTHING in life deserves the chance to excel….It’s time humans stop acting like we are the only species that has rights to freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I am grateful for your unusual efforts as it will help awaken many people to the LONG suppressed capabilities of the animal kingdom.

  19. Blahblahblah says:

    Those are so cool, you know the rats. Mice are just copiers who like to mimic the rat’s amazing intelligence!

  20. Geferie1256 says:

    so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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