Estate alert over 'giant rats'

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The Independent Online

A councillor today said she would ask her authority to investigate reports of giant rats invading an estate.

According to reports in The Sun, a 30in rodent was shot dead on the Ravenscliffe estate in Bradford, prompting fears that "super rats" from South America could be at large.

Carol Beardmore, who represents the Eccleshill ward for the Liberal Democrats on Bradford Council, played down suggestions that hundreds of giant rodents were plaguing the estate.

She said: "I live on the estate and while I'm not saying we don't have rats - everywhere has rats - I am not aware of an infestation of giant rats.

"We are not the Pied Piper of Hamelin round here with hundreds of rats.

"I am kept informed by officers on the council and only recently we did a survey and Eccleshill was quite low down the list regarding the number of rats."

She added: "I live close to a wood ... and we have not seen anything like that, and if we had I am sure my cat would have caught it.

"However, I take it seriously and I will ask officers to investigate."

The councillor said the estate is located close to a wood with streams running close by and there are issues with fly-tipping.

She also suggested the animal pictured in The Sun could be a coypu, a plant-eating semi-aquatic rodent originally native to South America.

Resident Brandon Goddard told The Sun how he killed the animal as he went "ratting" with friends on the edge of the estate.

He told the paper: "They were more like Ratzillas than rats. I got out of there as fast as I could. Who knows how many there will be if they've been breeding?"

He claimed four others of the same size scuttled away to safety.