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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Giant rat found in NYC

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It may be the size of a small dog, but this is not the sort of creature many of us would fancy petting.

What appears to be a giant rat was allegedly found dead in a Foot Locker shoe shop in the Bronx, New York.

Scooped on a shovel in the Fordham store's stockroom, the massive brown and white rodent measures around three feet.



The picture was uploaded to Twitter by user @thegoodfella_, who believes it was snapped by a friend last autumn.

Experts think the rodent is a Gambian pouched rat, a fairly common pet that can grow to up to three feet.

It is not the first time the giant breed has been spotted in New York City.

One of the creatures was speared to death by a pitchfork at a sprawling Brooklyn housing project last year.

Jose Rivera, a Housing Authority worker, was clearing a rat hole at the Marcy Houses in Brooklyn when three of the creatures popped out.

He was only able to nab one. It appears to be almost three feet long, including the tail, is covered in white fur and looks well-fed.

After he caught the rat, Mr Rivera, 48, said: 'I hit it one time and it was still moving.
Speared: Housing Authority worker Jose Rivera with the mutant monster rat at the Marcy Houses in Brooklyn

Caught by a whisker: Last year, a similarly large rodent was found by Housing Authority worker Jose Rivera in Brooklyn, New York - and speared to death
A Gambian pouched rat. The creatures, which grown to 3ft long and weigh up to 4lbs, are often kept as pets

'I hit it another time and that's when it died. I'm not scared of rats but I was scared of being bitten.'

Naomi Colon, head of the Marcy Houses Tenant Association, said there have been sightings of the outsize rat for at least six years.

She said: 'The residents have told me that they've seen it running around with other rats.'

Resident Stephanie Davis, 44, said: 'Even the cats are afraid of the rats. They get together and gang up on the cats.'

Pam Davis, 43, added: 'They're here day and night. We don't dodge bullets. We dodge rats.They're so big, they should charge them rent.'

Animal experts identified the monster rodent as a Gambian pouched rat. The creatures are nocturnal, can grow to three feet, weigh four pounds or more and live seven or eight years.

Imports have been banned since 2003, when the rats were blamed for a monkeypox outbreak that affected 100 people.

Dr Paul Calle, director of zoological health at the Wildlife Conservation Society, said: 'They are a very social animal and live in big groups in the wild. They're pretty remarkable animals.'

Source: Daily Mail

 
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