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Hungry rodents have been invading homes to nibble on the helpless slow-moving reptiles amid fears they’ve also become “angry and cannibalistic”.
Experts say there’s been a huge rise in the number of rat attacks as they find their regular source of food outside Britain’s cafes and eateries.
The International Tortoise Association told The Times : “Rats are becoming a huge problem this year. Please make sure your pet doesn’t become a victim.”
Riccardo Cardia, a vet from Bridgend, said: “The rats are very persistent and their incisors are so strong.
“The tortoise will just sit there so they have all the time in the world. They will eat them alive.”
Urban rodentologist Bobby Corrigan told NBC News that rats living near closed restaurants are beginning to eat each other.
He said: “They’re mammals just like you and I, and so when you’re really, really hungry, you’re not going to act the same — you’re going to act very bad, usually.
“So these rats are fighting with one another, now the adults are killing the young in the nest and cannibalizing the pups.”
Celia Claypole, 60, volunteers at a tortoise sanctuary in Sully, Glamorgan, and has already seen 12 rat attacks this year, compared to the average of two.
She said: “The rats are out and about in force and they are attacking tortoises. They’ll just keep chewing and chewing and chewing.”
Julie Hinks, 54, who founded the Hampshire Tortoise Society in Fareham, said she has seen a rise in attacks locally.
A Mediterranean spur-thighed tortoise named Freda had to have her legs bandages after she was bitten by rats overnight just before lockdown was implemented.
Freda recovered after taking some painkillers and skin cream and was placed in a heated cabin.
The RSPCA recommends tortoises should be only allowed in the garden while supervised and should be kept in a secure enclosure at night.
Meanwhile, Mayor of New Orleans LaToya Cantrell has said closing restaurants in tourist areas “are driving our rodents crazy”.
Source:Daily Star – World News