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New York rats

Thursday 11 December 2003

City Councilor Bill Perkins is campaigning against the rodents of New York. He has written a piece in the Gotham Gazette:

They’re in our parks, in our houses, in our subways, and on our streets. I personally have been forced to walk in traffic in order to avoid them. They are out in the open, scampering undisturbed, and growing to phenomenal sizes. Some estimates tell us that there are as many as six rats for every one New Yorker. If that is accurate (and nobody really knows), that means there are close to 44 million rats in New York City. The situation is out of control. Something has to be done. (He goes on to say what he proposes to do).

Elaine Sloan, a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, sticks up for the rats and urges compassion:

Rats are intelligent, curious and sensitive animals. They’re shy; they’d rather run than confront a potential threat. They’re meticulous about cleaning themselves and take very special care of their young. In so many ways, rats are like dogs, cats, horses, seals and the more popular “poster children” of the animal kingdom.

Map of rodent distribution in New York City

Disclosure #1: I pinched the map of rat demographics from gothamgazette.com​—​I reduced and cropped it, and toned down some of the colours. Disclosure #2: There are rats and mice living around our place, probably nesting among the firewood and eating spilled chook food. Our cat brought us a live rat the other night.

filed under Maps + Ratbags

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