What is that thing? It's a popular pet in Cuba Congui, a domesticated hutia, rides on the front door of an American classic car driven by its owner Rafael Lopez, in Bainoa, Cuba (AP photos)
What is that thing? It's a popular pet in Cuba
Lexile

Some people keep guinea pigs or hamsters as pets.

In Cuba, a larger, more exotic rodent runs wild. The rodent is called the hutia. Ana Pedraza and her husband love them.

The hutia looks like a giant rat, only cuter, some would say. The animal has a rope-like tail. And long front teeth. It measures nearly a foot long. Hutias live in Cuba and other Caribbean islands. They are sometimes hunted for food.

Pedraza and her husband Rafael Lopez say they only want to protect and take care of the animal.The largest can weigh more than a small dog.

The couple began collecting hutias about five years ago. They found one on a roadside. They named her Congui. Then they got a mate for Conqui. Now they have more than a half-dozen hutias. The rodents live in the couple's home. It's about 25 miles from the capital, Havana.

Congui and her brood like to drink sweetened coffee and munch on crackers and vegetables.

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COMMENTS (79)
  • AdamYY-5
    11/27/2014 - 03:49 p.m.

    The most popular pet in Cuba is a Hutia. It is a small rodent that runs wild in the streets of Cuba. Pedraza and Lopez started a collection of hutias 5 years ago. They call them little rats but cuter. It's home is about 25 miles from the capital, Havana. These animals are a little cute but I would rather have a dog.

  • JacquelineS-Saw
    12/03/2014 - 02:00 p.m.

    There right it is cuter than a rat i hate rats there tails look so nasty and slimy but the popular pet is so cute i want one is it true that they drink sweet end coffee there so cool :D

  • elia3-Bla
    12/04/2014 - 01:21 p.m.

    I think that it could be a farret or a mongoose

  • ColeF-5
    12/04/2014 - 08:36 p.m.

    Who would keep a hutia as pet. Not me but apparently they do in Cuba. The hutia looks like a giant rat. The animal has a tail like a rope and have big long whiskers. They are also sometimes hunted for food

    • ryan1w-Sma
      1/05/2015 - 02:55 p.m.

      I don't care what the animal looks like or what it is I just care if its nice and loving i'll take any pet just make sure its nice.

  • addyp-Bla
    1/05/2015 - 10:03 a.m.

    This article is about a pet you probably haven't herd off and its a pet in Cuba. The rodent is called a hutia. Ana Pedraza and her husband Rafael Lopezlove them.The animals two front teeth are long and it's tail is like a rope.Ana and Rafael have been collecting them for five years.They found one on the roadside and named her Congui and found a mate for her.Now they hve half a dozen hutias.The rodents live with the couple and they live close to the capital.The hutias drink sweet tea and coffee much on crackers and veggies. Thank you .

  • austink-Sma
    1/05/2015 - 01:25 p.m.

    In Cuba they keep pets that are called hutias.They weigh about as much as a small dog.They are sometimes hunted for food and look like giant rats but are cuter.

  • maddysonc-Sma
    1/05/2015 - 01:32 p.m.

    i am surprised that it weighs more than a small dog and it is odd that it has to drink sweet coffee and eats crackers and veggies

  • madalynnp-Sma
    1/05/2015 - 01:36 p.m.

    I love that the Lopez family takes care of the Hutia in stead of hunt them fr food because i love animals and I know I would love a Hutia and would never hurt animals just for food so I am so happy they take care of those helpless animals.I wonder how a animal like that can weigh as much as a small dog and it's cool that it likes to drink sweetened coffee.

  • brandonk-Sma
    1/05/2015 - 01:57 p.m.

    It is interesting to lean about a different country's culture.And what there pets look like.Now i will be more interested in the country Cuba.

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