“Super rats” are multiplying at a rapid rate across Johannesburg, according to a report by the Sunday Times.
The report stated that the rats are becoming bigger and smarter, and a record 661g “Ratzilla” was recently caught by a rat expert in the city.
Johannesburg’s environmental health department said it is concerned by how quickly the rats are breeding, while the report stated an abundance of food for the rodents means their numbers are thriving.
“There is evidence that rat-bite incidents in the city are increasing and that is an indication that there are more rodents, which is a huge concern,” Jan van Niekerk from the city’s environmental health department told the Sunday Times.
“Reports from city officials show that the rodents were biting residents at a rate of at least a dozen incidents a day,” stated the report.
This puts people at risk of contracting rat-bite fever and other diseases.
The report stated that not only was there an abundance of food in the city for the rats, food waste which contained a lot of protein was allowing the rats to grow into super rodents.
Rats were also learning to not eat poisonous bait.
Despite their proliferation, a plague outbreak in the city was unlikely, stated the report.