A Giant Rat Grows in Brooklyn

For years, there were rumors that a strange creature haunted an apartment complex in the Bedford Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn. Residents saw a shadowy, large creature scurrying about. At times, they would just hear loud, scratching noises.  Some thought the building had its own version of Big Foot or the Jersey Devil while others thought the creature was not of this world. But the mystery of the unidentified visitor was solved when Jose Rivera, a city housing worker stabbed it with a pitchfork.  The mysterious creature at the other end of the prongs? A three-foot- long rat.

Yes, let me repeat it: a three-feet-long rat – a  Gambian Pouched Rat to be precise. Apparently, this species of rat was once kept as an exotic pet before the federal government made it illegal to import them to the US.  As it turns out, the one that was killed by Mr. Rivera, is only one of possibly three living in the complex, and at least two more of the jumbo rodents are still at large.

When I read this, I marched across the street to my neighbor’s house and measured her cat. And I discovered that the rat was bigger than her cat. In fact, animal experts say that this rat is bigger than most cats and a large number of dogs. I have one word for this:  Yuck!

I am not a good rat person, and I have a good reason why I am not a good rat person. When I was in grammar school, my best friend Kathleen Simone and I, took turns sleeping over each other’s house. We loved to watch scary movies on TV. One time, we watched Willard – the movie about the guy who gets his rats to eat people he hates?   Well, after watching that movie and enduring the three weeks of nightmares that ensued, I decided I would never see a live rat again.  So, when the picture of Mr. Rivera and the impaled, three-foot rat showed up on the internet, I didn’t say, “Oh, call PETA, this guy killed this poor animal.”  Au contraire,  I said, “Yes, it’s dead, kill all the freaking rats!”

I guess when it comes down to it, I am not a good exotic pet person at all.  I don’t want them all killed, but I do know that I won’t be comfortable with them in my house.  I am a dog, cat, fish, horse, pig, goat, cow, sheep, duck, various species of bird, and dolphin (although I would think a dolphin is tough to keep unless one has a large swimming pool or a private ocean) person. Allow me to present a list of animals that will never call my house, home..

All rodents: no surprise since I told you about the  monster rat, but you might be surprised over me banning the entire rodent population. I have to admit that from afar, hamsters, squirrels, pet mice and even little pet white rats are cute in their own way, but once they graduate into rats that can cause bubonic plague, I have no problem with exterminators doing their job.

Snakes:  Very few people in this world bother me with the exception of  tea party devotees and snake owners.  Hm. I wonder if that is a coincidence.  Anyway, I do not see the attraction in owning a snake. Pets are supposed to be soft, cuddly and warm-blooded . I once had a friend whose brother wore his pet snake around his neck. As I watched “Cecil” the snake slither and close in around this guy’s throat, I didn’t think anything about him was cute – the snake not the guy – well, in truth, not the guy either,

Lizards:  The reasons why I hate snakes apply to lizards and other reptiles as well. I could live with a turtle and maybe a frog, but no lizards. Even the Geico Gecko creeps me out. I don’t care if he does have an Australian or British accent; his beady eyes and long tongue just make me uncomfortable.

Tarantulas:  Unless you are Stephen King and you have to maintain a scary persona so you can continue to sell books by frightening the bejesus out of people, you should not own a poisonous spider.   The people who find furry, gross spiders cute, are people who should be locked up for life.  There is something definitely wrong with them.  Hey, I understand the balance of nature and that spiders play an important role in keeping that balance, but if a spider looks like it has swallowed a compact car for breakfast, it needs to die. This is the stuff Sci-Fi movies are made of. Sure, for a time it might be a cute pet, but let it sit too close to your PC or microwave and  suddenly we need the army to stop it from devouring lower Manhattan.

On the outside chance that the monster rats are hiding in other parts of the country and have the potential of growing to the size of a pony, I think the housing authority of all cities should hire workers with pitchforks. It might not be a pretty way of killing mutant rats, but it does seem effective.


Read more: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2011/08/27/Giant-rat-caught-killed-with-pitchfork/UPI-90781314464842/#ixzz1WLHDh4WP


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10 thoughts on “A Giant Rat Grows in Brooklyn”

  1. And I thought a groundhog was a big rodent! They’re kind of cute…until they take up residence under your front step or under your driveway (really!).

  2. I’m a snake owner, does this mean I creep you out? She eats mice but not rats because they scream when she tries to go after them (no kidding). She also likes curling up with my dogs and napping with them.. or maybe she’s just waiting to grow big enough to eat them ?

  3. We have all three snakes,barn rats and lizards here in the country. The good news is the snakes eat the rats and the rats eat the lizards, ah the circle of life continues. . .

  4. There are reasons why exotic pets should be banned, and many of them are. The rat who ended up on the end of a pitchfork should have been able to live out his natural life (which, for rodents, isn’t all that long) in his own natural habitat. Trying to make pets of exotic animals is nothing short of animal abuse.

    If we now get populations of three-foot white rats in our cities, blame the idiots who adopted them, then tossed them out!

    Don’t get me started.

    1. Just adding that my pets have consisted of the traditional thoroughly domesticated dogs and cats and I have loved and cared for all of them.

      And I second you on the snake thing. I never saw the attraction in keeping a reptile in the house. Snakes are beautiful, and they have their place in the wild. Let them stay there!

    2. You go, Kath! 🙂 I bet if it was in the wild, that rat would not have grossed me out quite as much, although I would be scared. It’s like the people who get alligators and then let them go in the sewers or the people who bring home baby tigers as pets and lo and behold, they have to find a shelter for them because they didn’t foresee them getting dangerous. Stupid, stupid people.
      The rats now though, those that have been living in the cities are now dangerous and maybe rabid or carrying other things.

  5. Wow! Three feet eh? That is much bigger than the rats about a foot long I saw routinely in bunkers while over in Vietnam. I would be laying on my caught and see them walk across the 8×12 beams that supported the roof and we would always joke that one had to check their boots before putting them on each morning after one fella found one snuggled up inside his.

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