Folly Farm’s Royal rats have been dethroned
After a social media post about the rats at Folly Farm with names of members of the Royal Family went viral – receiving thousands of views, the visitor attraction has taken the decision to rename them.
Last month on a visit to the adventure park and zoo in Pembrokeshire, Welshman Andrew Kenning was amused to see the names given to the rats at the ever popular Welsh tourist attraction.
So he took a photo and posted it on Twitter, not expecting what happened next. The post quickly went viral receiving thousands of views.
His picture shows the name plate of the rats in the barn at Folly Farm – all named after members of the Royal Family – Phillip, Charles, William, Harry, George and Louis.
That’s four generations of the Royal Family given names to a creature which let’s face it doesn’t after the most complimentary of reputations.
— Manic Street Teacher (@AndrewKenning) July 16, 2023
The post was met with much amusement, especially from anti-monarchists, who were quick to delight in the post, with many praising Folly Farm for their naming decisions.
‘So my support to Folly Farm has just gone up’, wrote one. Another posted: ‘Always loved the Folly Farm lot the mad b*stards’.
‘Always rated Folly Farm’, added one poster, while ‘Inject it’, was the comment from one Twitter user.
As for the original poster Andrew Kenning, he said the reaction represents a depth of feeling in Wales right now about the Royals: “The folk at Folly Farm have tapped into something that obviously hits a nerve with many in Wales and beyond but what struck me about it was there was no Andrew.
“On a related note, Folly Farm is a great day out with the young ones. Well worth a visit.”
However, anyone believing that one of Wales’ premier visitor attractions was actually masquerading as a hotbed of republican feelings would be incorrect.
Speaking to Nation Cymru last month a spokesperson at Folly Farm said: “It’s great that this post has received so much interest. We often name our animals after well-known figures or TV characters, or themed around current events taking place at the time of their arrival.
“We have had goats named William and Charlotte, penguins named after presidents such as Roosevelt and Lincoln or Simpsons characters. We’ve even had sheep named after the cast of Gavin and Stacey such as Bryn, Gwen and Nessa.
“We believe our fancy rats in the barn arrived around the time of the Jubilee and were therefore given fancy names in keeping with the theme – and that is the sole basis of how we came about naming them after members of the Royal Family. We certainly didn’t give it any more thought than that, but it’s fun to hear this post has received such interest.”
Nevertheless, when Andrew Kenning visited Folly Farm on the weekend, he realised that the names of the rats had been changed.
Instead of Phillip, Charles, William, Harry, George and Louis, the rodents are now known as Chase, Marshall, Everest, Rubble and Zoomer.
When asked if the rats had been renamed, a spokesperson for Folly Farm confirmed they had.
“Yes, we did change the names, as after a few stories and numerous tweets/messages on the matter we decided it was becoming too much of a distraction and therefore taking away from our usual daily offerings centred around a fun, family day out.”
A spokesperson for the Royal Family declined to comment.
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