The Tasmanian Mock Walrus (TMW) is a whiskered, four-inch long creature that purrs like a cat, has the temperament of a hamster, and resembles a walrus. (It has also been noted that it resembles a naked mole rat.) It never needs to be walked or bathed, can be trained to use a litter box, and eats cockroaches. A single TMW can rid a house of roaches. However, it will also eat cheese and Vegemite. For this reason it is highly sought after as a pet.
The TMW is indigenous to the lake region of Tasmania. But during the early 1980s a number of these creatures were smuggled into Florida where they quickly became a popular form of pest-control. A secret breeding program multiplied their numbers. However, it was and remains illegal to import the TMW, a ban that pest-control companies have vigorously lobbied for, fearing that the TMW might undermine the cockroach-extermination business. Government officials have also expressed concern about the possible impact upon the delicate Florida ecosystem should TMWs be imported in massive quantities. The TMW controversy was reported in the Orlando Sentinel
on April 1, 1984
Reference: Dean Johnson. "Small Wonder." Florida Magazine, Orlando Sentinel. (April 1, 1984): 10-12.