Dutch Artists Turn Boy’s Dead Pet Into Rat-copter

Thirteen-year-old Pepijn Bruins with the rat drone created by Arjen Beltman and Bart Jansen from his deceased pet Ratjetoe. Photo: SWNS.
Thirteen-year-old Pepijn Bruins with the rat drone created by Arjen Beltman and Bart Jansen from his deceased pet Ratjetoe. Photo: SWNS.

Arjen Beltman and Bart Jansen have finally topped Orvillecopter, their 2012 cat drone, creepily created from the body of Jansen’s cat Orville, who died in a car accident. The latest from the Dutch artist-inventor duo is a rat-copter, which transforms and memorializes a Dutch schoolboy’s pet rat, reports the BBC and Daily Mirror.

The rat, named Ratjetoe, the Dutch word for ratatouille, had to be put to sleep after being diagnosed with cancer. His owner, 13-year-old Pepijn Bruins, was heartbroken to lose his pet, saying in an interview that “when I learned he had cancer and the vet had to put him to sleep I was very upset. I had seen Bart and Arjen and their flying cat, and I asked my dad if it would be possible to have the rat fly.”

Luckily for the boy, the artists were more than up to the unusual task of turning his deceased pet into a flying machine.

“When I heard how upset he was, I just knew I had to help,” Beltman said in an interview. “Technically, it was very different to the cat, it has three rotors instead of four, and being a small rodent, it is extremely lightweight, so prone to being blown by the wind.” Mounted on a specially rigged flying device, Ratjetoe is now capable of soaring through the air thanks to three noisy, bright red propellers.

While preserving a dead rat may seem creepy to some, it’s made the loss of a beloved pet that much easier to take for Bruins. “I loved him very much,” the boy said. “He always liked to be cuddled and he would run up my clothes and hide.” And, as Jansen points out, “flight is man’s greatest achievement, so why not give it to more animals? The world needs more flying animals.”

Since making headlines with Orvillecopter, Beltman and Jansen have also created Turbo Shark—which sounds like a prop Damien Hirst might design for the inevitable third Sharknado film—and enabled the famously flightless ostrich to take wing. Their work was recently featured in All Creatures Great and Stuffed, a television documentary that debuted on the BBC’s Channel 4 yesterday, September 10.

Check out a promo of the documentary here:


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