The smell of feet certainly wasn’t a deterrent for a massive, three foot long rat found dead in a NYC Foot Locker. The photo, recently shared via Twitter, was allegedly snapped last autumn.
Could there be more?
Experts think the rodent in question is a Gambian pouched rat, a common breed resembling a Chihuahua in size, capable of growing up to 3 feet long and over 4 pounds and living up to 8 years.
The rodent is known not only as a pest in NYC, but previously as a pet nationwide. It’s not the first time this giant breed has been spotted in NYC, however it is doubtful area residents will want to give these robust rodents a pat. Imports on the animal were banned in 2003 following a monkeypox outbreak linked to the animals, and they are known to become invasive following escape.
Not your average bear-sized rat…
Gambian pouched rats get their namesake from their hamster-like cheek pouches, which they can stuff with so much food they often have difficulty re-entering their burrows. In the wild they live in groups of up to 20, each rat capable of producing four litters of up to 6 offspring per year by the age of 6 months. Males may be territorial and aggressive.