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Ants, the new hot pet in SZ
Latest Updated by 2006-10-23 09:16:41
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Does keeping a pet dog make you feel in? Not quite, actually. The pet trend has moved to ants. According to a Daily Sunshine report, an increasing number of young people in the city are opting for ants as their beloved pets.

The pet ants are kept in a brick-sized container that is made of magnifying glass and filled with a bluish, gel-like substance, the Daily Sunshine report said. The gel, as a matter of fact, is extracted from seaweed and sustains the ants with sugar, water and other nutrition.

Pet owners can observe the animal's life and behavior such as their habit of digging anthills and communicating among themselves, just like watching a documentary on the National Geographic channel.

A man surnamed Li who has bought such a container with ants said the animals make interesting pets. Li, a computer engineer, said he is so busy with work that he has little time reconnecting with nature. By keeping pet ants in a tank on his table, Li said he feels relaxed when observing the little animals after work.

Li also said through the magnifying glass, his son can see clearly the details of an ant's body and has, as a result, become interested in science.

Another ant owner who declined to give her name said she is very happy with her new pets, simply because ants are easy to take care of. "You don't have to worry that you forget to feed them, you don't have to give them a shower, and yet they are very clean," said the young woman in her mid-20s. "It is much easier to maintain hygiene with these little pets, compared with other traditional pets like dogs and cats, which you have to spend time training them."

However, the new pets have aroused controversy among members of the public, some of whom say it's unthinkable that people will raise ants as pets, as they have already had a hard time dealing with ants as pests in their daily life.

The container, priced at 100-plus yuan (US$12.5), is available in some pet stores, and ants can be bought separately at different prices depending on the breed.

The company manufacturing the container said the idea of selling ants in such a device was inspired by an experiment by U.S. space scientists studying the behavior of ants under zero gravity, the Daily Sunshine reported.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: Szdaily web edition
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