Summer of the cannibal rats! Hungry, aggressive, highly fertile – and coming to our homes

With restaurants closed and less food discarded on UK streets, rats have had to find new places to feed. Luckily for them, people are eating more in their houses, flats and gardens …

Lockdown has been hard for rodents whose fortunes are tied to those of humans. When restaurants closed, and city streets and back alleys emptied of people and their waste, rats lost a plentiful supply of food. So they followed us home, foraging and breeding in our gardens, drains and household voids. They became more brazen and aggressive. And, when that wasn’t enough, they began to eat each other.

Cannibal rats are among the grimmest consequences of the upending of urban life. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have warned of “unusual or aggressive” behaviour in rats, including the eating of rat pups.

Rats are basically just squirrels with bald tails. One gets all the nice stuff; the other is vilified

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Animals | The Guardian


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