Native water rat 02
This looks like an excellent spot – surrounded by water and I can see anything coming from a long way off. Perfectly safe.
Native water rat 03
I’ll just sit and soak up a few rays before I begin.
Native water rat 04
OK, all warmed up. Better make sure the paws are absolutely immaculate before I begin on the the rest.
Native water rat 05
Now for some serious cleaning and preening. That muddy patch needs special attention.
Native water rat 06
All done and clean as a whistle. Time to put these webbed feet back to work.                                  This Rakali, or native water rat (Hydromys chrysogaster), lives in the Sevens and Spring Creek near the confluence by Strathbogie township. I often come across it swimming, duck diving or darting for cover into the embankment. However, this day I found it sunning and cleaning itself on a log near Haley St. As long as I didn’t make any sudden moves my presence with the camera was tolerated. I enjoyed seeing it in its full glory. At approx 40cm long it is quite a large creature. The size, distinctive webbed feet and white tipped tail clearlly distinguish it from any other sort of rat. It is a carnivore, eating fish, crustaceans, insects, occasional small birds, other mammals, frogs and reptiles. According to the Healesville Sanctuary web site it can also tolerate cane toads.
Today while out walking I came across another specimen in action near the Ankers Rd bridge across the Sevens. As if determined to confirm it’s carnivore bona fides, to my amazement, this Rakali chased a fish almost as big as itself down the cascades upstream from the bridge.