- Sep 30, 2021
- Reaction score
- Northern California
Wow I have a similar story. I worked in an exotic animal holding facility 30+ years ago. We had 3000-6000 animals at any given time. Most of the larger animals were housed outdoors in a 16 acre compound. We had approximately 600,000 rats within that compound according to a rodent specialist. These all descended from 8 domestic hooded rats in about 2 years. The original 8 escaped from a wire enclosure at the compound. I have many side stories related to this. It was like the pied piper there, the rats would fearlessly pass me on the trails in groups of 20-50 individuals. Every Friday from 1300 to 1700 the keeper staff would kill rats with the assistance of our exotics. We would pick a particularly target rich area, then use hoses to flood burrows. When the ground erupted and rats went everywhere (including up your legs) we would smack them with rakes and shovels and fill up 5 gallon buckets with the dead. We then froze them for use later. The interesting part was that the animals would assist us, monkeys, chimps, big cats of every stripe and spot, raptors, caiman etc. would all join in the carnage. When the rats would flee our rakes, they would inevitably run into an enclosure where far worse ends awaited them. A group of 4 capuchin monkeys and their pet rock, a pond full of caiman, a pair of insatiable jaguars, a cara cara named Igor who liked his meals alive and started with testicles, and on and on the list goes. I welcome any questions, I have at least one story for every day I worked there.It's tempting, that's for sure.
My landlord (great guy), who lives beside me, will take care of the rats. But he told me a story that gave me the willies. He said that forty years ago there was a rat infestation upcountry where we are. He told me that one time, when there was a combined effort to get rid of them (the State, County, and the residents) - the rats ran downhill, through his yard and my yard in a panic to escape. He said there was a river of squealing rats, hundreds and hundreds of them, charging downhill. He's an older Japanese farmer who was born here and nothing bothers him. He said it was the oddest thing he's ever seen. Took about ten minutes for all of them to run by.