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.

But in Cuba, where a larger, more exotic rodent runs wild, Ana Pedraza and her husband prefer the hutia.

With a rope-like tail and long front teeth, the hutia looks like a giant rat, only cuter, some would say. The animals live in Cuba and other Caribbean islands where they are sometimes hunted for food.

But Pedraza and her husband Rafael Lopez say they only want to protect and take care of the animals, which measure nearly a foot long, with the largest ones weighing in bigger than a small dog.

The couple began collecting hutias about five years ago when they found one languishing on a roadside and named her Congui. They found her a mate and now have more than a half-dozen hutias in their home about 25 miles east of the capital, Havana.

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

Critical thinking challenge: Why arent hutias popular in the U.S.?

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COMMENTS (7)
  • JS2001basketball
    11/24/2014 - 08:47 a.m.

    The Hutias are not popular in the U.S because in Cuba they are known for eating and get raised to get killed to eat but in the United States we don't eat Hutias so they are not popular

  • 1KordellS
    11/24/2014 - 06:09 p.m.

    bullet points
    : Thing is very ugly
    :I would not want that as a pet
    : Likes to drink coffee and eat crackers
    : found on carribean islands
    :not very big

  • SH2000Lovie
    11/25/2014 - 08:44 a.m.

    Hutias aren't popular in the U.S. because they are road animals and they are wild. People like a pet where they con kind of easily train them to behave.

  • LukeM-5
    11/26/2014 - 12:09 p.m.

    this article is about a large rat like rodent called the hutias. ana pedraza and her husband have been saving the rodents since they found one on the side of the road and named it congui

  • dclaiborne-Cla
    12/03/2014 - 01:20 p.m.

    GUINEA PIGS ARE JUST SO CUTE THAT I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR THEM . The article was on guinea pigs and it was very unique.

  • marcosm-Ela
    1/09/2015 - 03:31 p.m.

    The reason why Hutias is not popular in the U.S is probably because they are not any in the U.S, because if you heard they are only in Cuba. And if you remember they said people keep guinea pigs and hamsters as pets and so that could be another reason.

  • ahnalysec-bru
    1/29/2016 - 01:51 p.m.

    According to the article,"What is that thing? A popular pet in Cuba," Hutias are not popular in the U.S. because they are from the Caribbean islands. The second reason is because of there teeth... they are very big and if bit by a Hutia it probably could do severe damage to skin and tissue. Finally Hutias are not popular in the U.S. because they look like a giant rat. In conclusion they also are a foot long. This is why Hutias are not common in the United States.

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