California kangaroo rat sighted after missing for decades

Researchers have finally found a tiny animal they’ve been looking for for years in a California nature reserve.

The Santa Cruz kangaroo rat has been documented at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Felton, California, and researchers now believe they’ve found some at the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve as well.

Genetic tests have yet to be done to positively determine whether the creatures in the Sierra Azul are Santa Cruz kangaroo rats, but based on their body measurements, everything is verified, said Matt Sharp Chaney, a wildlife biologist at the Midpeninsula Regional. Open Space District.

The rodents have large hind legs with “unusually long” tails, the agency said on its website. The small, elusive rodents that don’t hibernate often eat seeds and don’t actually need water since they can get it from foods, the district said.

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