Almost two weeks after being born, the baby rats have begun to develop fur and experience significant changes in size. (Photo by Shimin Zhang)

Love conquers all in birth of 16 baby rats in biology classroom

Some say that love conquers all. That’s certainly true in the case of biology teacher Kellie Whited’s rats.

According to Whited, the female rats chewed their way into the cage of the male rats over the summer, which lead to the birth of baby rats.

After being discovered by Faith Galati, the director of Breakthrough Sacramento (which was using the classrooms on campus during the summer), the rats were again separated by their biological sex.

“(But) the damage was already done!”  Whited said. “Two of my four female rats were pregnant, and 21 days later the babies were born!”

The male rats have since been removed from the classroom because of the danger to the babies and moved to dean of the middle school Edward Bolman’s classroom, according to Whited.

“Females make a more ideal classroom pet,” Whited said. “The male rats can get aggressive.”

Life in the rat cage is obviously different than it would be in the wild,  Whited said. Since the cage is in a classroom, the rats were constantly surrounded by students. That means it is a high-stress environment.

Because of the stress, Whited said the two mothers stole infant rats from each other.

“At this point, there’s no telling which babies belong to which,” Whited said.

But now, things have settled down, as Whited said the babies have begun to open their eyes.

One of the mothers is fairly relaxed, according to Whited, while the other roams the cage, following people’s movements and glaring at them with staring eyes.

Presently, three of the four female rats are helping to care for the babies.

Sixteen baby rats are available for adoption after Oct. 12. If you are interested, email Whited at

—By Carter Joost

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