Stavros was a chocolate Berkshire dumbo
Stavros came to me with his brother, Costas. Both rats came from horrendous conditions at a 'petting zoo' in Peterborough. They were two of 14 rats taken from the premises where they were living in their own filth, having never been cleaned. The rats were thought to be living outside, in the elements, and most of them had wounds from fighting due to the over-crowding, or even possibly attack by wild rats. They were horribly thin, too. The rats were due to be put into the freezer and fed to snakes.
These boys were taken on by another rescuer, who then rehomed these two to me. When they first arrived from the zoo, they would apparently scream at anyone who got close, and were very difficult to handle. The previous rescuers did a wonderful job with them and by the time they came to me, they were handleable, if nervous and distrusting still. Both rats were thought to be around 9 months old, but they looked like ancient old men! They had little muscle tone due to being unable to move far in their previous cage.
Both rats had terrible respiratory problems when they were first taken from the zoo due to the conditions they were kept in and ammonia causing damage to their lungs. They were treated intensively before coming to me, and where much improved by the time I picked them up. However, they never had healthy lungs and needed repeat treatments often.
Stavros was always the more shy of the two. He never really relished handling, though he would tolerate it. He was always a rather nervous rat and lacked self confidence, but despite this, he was happy enough. He was never high ranking, and always stayed with the lower ranking boys.
Stavros did live longer than Costas, but he too eventually lost his life to severe respiratory problems caused by lung scarring from the conditions he'd previously lived in. I had to have him euthanised when it becamse clear that treatment was no longer working for him. A sad end to a sad life.
Why Stavros? My mum named him, to keep with the Greek theme I had at the time.