We feed the rats

Visitors are invited to follow the feeding of Heureka’s rats. During the feeding, the rat trainer will tell the audience about the rats’ diet, habits and senses, among other things. The audience will also get a chance to ask the trainer questions.

Check out the daily schedule here

Taking care of rats

Heureka is home to about ten rats. All of the rats are female rats that live in a single pack consisting of rats of varying ages. Heureka receives new baby rats a few times a year. Heureka does not breed the rats; they are procured from private breeders.

The rats live in a room with windows designed specifically for them. Spectators are seated behind glass outside the room, and they cannot enter the rats’ room. The room is the rats’ home, so the idea is to keep it a peaceful place for them.

During daytime, the rats are free to move about the room; they spend their nights in large overnight cages. The rats are fed and taken care of and their cages are cleaned daily by an explainer trained for this purpose.

Training rats

The basketball rats are trained at Heureka by guides who have received special training in the job. The training does not employ coercion or punishment. Rather, it relies on reinforcing the hoped-for behaviour with the help of food rewards and sound signals.

Rat basketball started at Heureka at the end of 1995, inspired by the COSI science centre in the US. Numerous generations of rats have performed their skills in the unique rat basketball stadium.

Read more about the hairy basketball stars at Heureka!

How can a rat be trained to score? Who are the brightest basketball stars at Heureka? What takes place in the rats’ room after the game? The rat basketball blog written by Heureka explainers talks about what takes place in the rats’ room during the day, how the rats are trained and how their wellbeing is ensured. The blog is mainly written in Finnish.

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