And how does it feel to tickle a rat?
“It’s fun,” Ms. Mottley said. “The last step is to turn them over and let them go, and they will turn around and come right back,” she said. “You extend your arm to tickle them again and they will try to climb on your arm because they want more.” “
Ian Allsop, the principal investigator and senior animal technician at the Center for Health and Medical Research, said in an email that the project “was really about promoting existing and well-tested research in regards to improving well-being. of rats by tickling ”.
Canberra technicians tickled a group of rats every day for four weeks and monitored their reactions. Another control group was unfortunately not tickled.
The researchers found that tickled rats generally responded better to human manipulation and were less fearful. And the rats weren’t the only ones having fun. “Tickling is also fun for technicians! the center said in its poster, where it shared its results.
As tempting as it all can make you want to rush out and tickle indiscriminately rats, Paul McGreevy, professor of animal behavior and welfare at the University of New England, has a warning.
“It is a mistake to assume that all rats like to tickle, and a mistake to assume that all humans are equally good at tickling rats,” he said.
Much like humans, he added, different rodents have individual preferences for how they like to be tickled.