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Chubby bamboo rats become online celebrities in China

(People's Daily Online)    14:30, September 13, 2018

[Illustration: People's Daily Online]

For many people who bump into a rat the size of a small dog, one thing is for sure – they will either call in the exterminators or run in the opposite direction.

However, two vloggers from Ganzhou, Jiangxi Province, have made the dorky-looking bamboo rat a cyber celebrity on Chinese social media – as well as a delicious ingredient for barbecue banquets.

Serving as a popular delicacy in southwest China, the Chinese bamboo rat is used in a variety of traditional dishes. In recent years, many Chinese farmers have established bamboo rat farms, earning a better wage thanks to the chubby critters.

In a video which made the rounds on Monday, the vloggers, who are breeders at a local bamboo rat farm, are seen selecting the soon-to-be-meals, amusing the audience with their bizarre selection criterion.

“This little thing seems to be suffering from heat stroke, look how limp and feeble he is…well I guess we have to cook it then…” the vlogger is seen saying to the camera.

In addition to supposed heatstroke, being gluttonous, bellicose, or even too cuddly can also serve as excuses for the chubby rodents to become a delicious meal.

“This rat is too chubby, I don’t think I can afford to feed him anymore…well, I guess I have to select him for the next meal then,” noted the vlogger.

The funny video quickly went viral online, with many social media users showing sympathy to the unlucky animals, noting “it is always easy to find a stick to beat a dog.”

Bamboo rats in a local breeding farm.

“I know how you feel, bamboo rat bros. Your breeder is like my boss, no matter what I do, he will always find ways to argue. Being fat or thin, you cannot escape your life of being toasted,” said a Sina Weibo user.

The bamboo rats have also featured in a variety of funny memes, with captions such as “I’m neither fat nor thin, beautiful nor ill-looking, I’m just a piece of meat that cannot escape the fate of out-of-nowhere fame.”

“As an economic domesticated animal, the bamboo rats have become an inspiration for content makers in rural areas. The video has ignited my desire to visit the countryside, as well as enjoy the organic farm food,” said another netizen. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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