Cat-sized rats invade Florida

Cat-sized rats invade Florida

Cebu : Philippines | Mar 27, 2012 at 9:34 PM PDT
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Skooter reporting 03/28/12

In the Florida Keys, would you believe that giant rats are running wild! I have these pests in my backyard too in Cebu but not as huge as in the Keys perhaps. They are fond of attacking a couple of coconut trees nearby devouring the meat of the clustered fruits. I don’t know how many there were but recently I notice they have been reduced by my pet Rottweiler who continually kill them when captured.

Now going back to the giant rats in the Keys, it was reported that in 1999 the insatiable rats first appeared after they escaped from a local exotic pets breeder and they’ve been burgeoning like crazy and getting bigger and bigger… and bigger.

Yikes! Can you imagine these adult rats can reach nineteen pounds? Really big, isn’t it? What I have in my backyard was no comparison at all..

On Florida’s Grassy Key, these giant Gambian pouch rats are everywhere despite intensive efforts by conservation officials to eliminate them.

What the officials are concerned about is that the voracious rats, which grow to nineteen pounds, might obliterate some crops and disturb the delicate ecological balance if they are able to reach the Florida mainland.

And mind you citizens are running scared. One local resident of Key West said they are ferocious. He’d rather face a lion. Maybe those rats roars like the king too.

South Florida has become a common dumping ground for exotic animals from across the globe and the gargantuan rats love eating them all.

Not only rodents, the area is swarming with exotic animals like Burmese pythons, boa constrictors, Nile monitor lizards, vervet monkeys and more all causing mess on local animal species.

Scott Hardin, exotic-species coordinator for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said they thought they had them wiped out as of 2009. But now, it’s hopeless. The pests are taking over the Keys. He further said that in the early days of the year 2011, a resident sent him an e-mail that he saw one of the rats. They were dubious about the report but went back talking to people and he personally saw that there were rats that they missed.

So what the officials did, they launched another effort to eradicate the rodents after four female rats were found in 2011. Officials started killing the pests in November and December, chiefly through the use of poison-laced cantaloupe and peanut butter.

It was learned that the rats mainly eat fruit and grains but according to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the rats have been known to also eat insects, crabs and snails, and now… humans.

Surely one could get scared because the rodent’s typical characteristics include a long, mostly hairless tail that usually measures between 24 and 36 inches. And their teeth are as sharp as a tracer shark, in plain language “razor sharp.”

Source: Weekly World News

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skooter is based in Cebu, Central Visayas, Philippines, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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