It’s not quite bringing the wooly mammoth back from extinction, but a large rodent thought to have been driven out of Western Australia’s Kimberley region decades ago has recently reared its furry little head again.
As the BBC reports, a black-footed tree rat, which can still be found in other parts of Australia, was first spotted in the region around a year ago. Months of camera monitoring finally concretely confirmed the creature as living in Kimberley. Its nocturnal nature made it even more difficult to spot.
The rodent is a large, arboreal critter, weighing up to almost two pounds, and it’s pretty damn cute.
The last time a BFTR (as they should be known) was spotted in Kimberley was back in 1987, leading researchers to think that it might have gone extinct in the region. They believed it had been wiped out or run off by those old saws of species die-out: humans, fires, and predatory cats.
The BFTRs reappearance may have to do with recent efforts to combat fires in the region, but whatever the cause, members of Western Australia’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions admit to cracking some champagne to celebrate the little guy’s comeback.