|The Gambian pouch rat (Cricetomys gambianus)|
These large rats were introduced to the area through the pet trade, and it is likely that several of the animals either escaped or were purposefully released. One potentially negative impact is associated with this species' abilities to carry a large number of diseases referred to as "zoonoses." These sorts of diseases are easily transmissible between humans and other animals. The Gambian pouch rat is a carrier for such zoonoses as monkeypox and leptospirosis. In fact, a monkeypox outbreak in the United States led to a ban on the import of this species for five years. Other negative impacts of this rat includes threatening several endangered or threatened local species. They are also a known eater of food crops.
|One of the APOPO HeroRATs|
Sources are the Global Invasive Species Database and APOPO. Images are from Wikimedia Commons and are either under a creative commons license or are copyright free: one, two