A giant rat has become the star of a new computer game at Halesowen College.

Gambian pouch rat, Bernie, who is based in the Animal Care Department at the Whittingham Road campus, is starring in a game on the college’s website.

The game – called Big Top Bernie – was developed by the college to show the wide range of courses available including computer gaming and animal care.

Bernie, who is one, will weigh up to 4kg when fully grown. Gambian pouch rats have limited vision, but their sense of smell and excellent hearing have led to then being trained to sniff out landmines. A sociable species, in the wild they live in colonies of up to 20.

The game can be played on the college’s website at www.halesowen.ac.uk