Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Rat Infestation in Australia Of 'Biblical Proportions'

Australia gripped by rat plague of biblical proportions

A catastrophic rat infestation is sweeping across eastern Australia in what some people describe as a “plague of biblical proportions.” Journalist Lucy Thackray shared on Twitter a clip of dead and live rats seemingly raining down on a farm in New South Wales.

The video was taken while a silo was being cleaned out. It featured dozens of dead and live rats falling along with the grains from a tube. Some of the critters managed to run off while the dead ones piled up on the ground.

New South Wales farmer Chris Kemp told Australia’s ABC News that the region had never experienced a mice plague as bad as this. He remarked that mice were everywhere, from fields to houses to sheds.

“This is probably the worst I have seen,” he said. “When you mow your lawn, you get 50 or 100 mice running away from you.”

An unexpected relief came from birds of prey such as falcons and magpies, which perched on power lines waiting for the mice to leave their hiding places, Kemp said. But the predatory birds were not enough to quell the rat infestation, as the farmer had to use gallons of rat bait every week to save his crops.

“We had to bait all our cropping country just before harvest. The mice were starting to eat the grain and eat the pods on the canola,” Kemp said.

The growing mice population was the result of the rains that pummeled the region after a long period of drought, according to Thackray. She said that the drought killed the animals that preyed on the rats. So when it started raining, the rats flourished alongside the crops that fed the four-legged pests.

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