By now, it’s readily apparent that we as humans have done a terrible job taking care of the planet. And because it seems no one wants to cop to a solution to help reverse the effects of climate change before 2030, perhaps it’s time to let another species take the wheel. I nominate rats, not because I think they’ll do a good job, but because I’m terrified of them and they seem restless.
Though the Year of the Rat isn’t until 2020, the mammalian equivalent of a cockroach is already having quite the year. First, the Trump Administration reportedly decided to come for Scabby the Rat, the inflatable ratzilla that is the de facto mascot of picket lines everywhere. Then, an onslaught of white rats descended upon the Italian village of Gattolino, which means “little cat.” (These animals are villains with a sense of humor, and I respect it.)
According to The Guardian, the village located in the northeastern city of Cesena, Italy, is being overrun:
Locals have nicknamed the newcomers “crazy white rats” because of their strange behavior. They have reportedly been jumping in front of cars and killing each other. One firefighter told a local paper: “I’ve never seen anything like it before.”
Mayor Paolo Lucci told local reporters that the rats likely came from a pigeon-breeding enclosure that had been shut down. “It is very likely that the rats have run out of food from inside the enclosures and once the food was finished they came out to find more in the countryside,” he said. As a result, they’ve been running into the road and committing rodenticide in the open. Bold!
This isn’t the first time Italy has had more than a little rodent problem; officials estimate there are twice as many rats as people in Rome, and in 2018, the mayor of Gerre de’ Caprioli suggested that the town tackle its coypu infestation by eating them.
The rats’s American counterparts are also wising up to the revolt. On Wednesday, a rat trapped in the ceiling of Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center interrupted a post-game press conference featuring 76ers player Joel Embiid.