Iran Deploys Snipers to Combat Cat-Sized "Mutant" Rats
March 5, 2013 5:29 PM
comment(s) - last by
(Source: Mirage Studios)
"Mutant" rodents can grow to 5 kg, are about as big as cats, outnumber residents 6-to-1
a top government-owned English language newspaper in the United Arab Emirates --
-- the streets of Tehran have been running red with blood, as the government has deployed military troops to kill mutant
While Iran's Revolutionary Guard is typically more focused on
hurling threats against its western adversaries
, it's been forced to focus on the homeland amidst chaos in Tehran. The city has been plagued by an insidious infestation of an unusual breed of rats, which reportedly grow to the size of a cat.
Mohammad Hadi Heydarzadeh, the head of Tehran municipality's environmental agency told a state TV news agency last month, "It's become a 24/7 war. We use chemical poisons to kill the rats during the day and the snipers at night."
So far 2,000 of the fearsome creatures have been killed.
The problem has become exacerbated as snow from the Alborz mountains seasonally melts, raising water levels and flushing the rats out of their subterranean lairs. Researchers estimate the rats may outnumber their human adversaries six to one. And these aren't your run-of-the-mill rodents. Reportedly they grow to around 5 kg (11 lbs).
Iran has deployed skilled snipers to combat the rodent menace. [Image Source: ISNA]
Ismail Kahram, an environmental adviser to the city council, says the rats have changed in appearance over the years. He comments, "They seem to have had a genetic mutation. They are bigger now and look different. These are changes that normally take millions of years of evolution."
U.S. experts say this is unlikely, pointing out that even common black rats can get quite large.
Dr. David Baker
, a laboratory animal veterinarian at
the Huffington Post, "Nearly all genetic mutations identified across the field of biology are harmful and confer a disadvantage to the species rather than an advantage. It’s not like in the sci-fi movies. [But] during the Middle Ages, [standard] black rats in Europe reportedly grew large enough -- and children were small enough -- to carry off babies. Those had to have been some big rats."
Regardless of who is right, one thing is for sure -- these are some big rats.
One of Iran's massive "mutant" rats. [Image Source: Reuters]
The city uses tons of poison a year. The special toxin used causes the rodents to become very thirst before death, a blessing as they then go off to die in the sewers, limiting the public health risk. Still, it appears that the city is making little headway against the ever growing rodent threat.
The National (UAE)
The Huffington Post
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
3/6/2013 2:40:44 AM
Are they really mutant I belive simmilar sized ones have been seen in stables and around garbage dumps since wayy back.
When I was little my cat tried to fight one on the lawn... but the cat gave up i think.. cat vs. rat was almost same in size.
probably came from the neighbours stable.. never saw one that size again but im guessing if they have good food sources they will grow.
3/6/2013 3:09:50 AM
Everything alive today is mutant. There were no rats around a billion years ago.
But yeah, changes in food supply are known to change the average size of a species dramatically. Even humans in europe are nowadays a good foot taller on average than they were 200 years ago, because back then most people knew hunger.
3/7/2013 2:46:02 PM
Changes in food supply do not tend to change the skeletal size of a mammal much at all, except in cases of shortages sufficient to cause malformation, the resultant human (or animal) looking deformed. They have been living along with their rat population for(ever), if their scientists feel there is a genetic difference, no matter what the cause (including cross-breeding), it is very likely they are correct. Being first hand and studying something tends to lend itself to this capability.
Yes Europeans are a few inches taller on average which can be explained by taller (larger in general) people being more dominant, but over 200 years this would only be a small fractional increase in their total size, unlike the larger difference in a short period for the rats.
"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein
Iran Accuses U.S. and Israel of Spreading Holiday Stuxnet "Cheer"
December 26, 2012, 3:57 PM
Stem Cells Successfully Used to Treat Parkinson's in Rats
August 18, 2010, 7:38 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Commercial Drones to Get Privacy Guidelines Via Executive Order
July 25, 2014, 5:34 PM
Pentagon's Priciest Project, F-35, Misses International Debut
July 25, 2014, 10:18 AM
Most Popular Articles
Lumia 830 Gets Major Upgrades Including New 20.1 Megapixel Toshiba Sensor
August 15, 2014, 6:00 PM
Windows Phone, BlackBerry Smartphone Market Share Falls to 2.5%, 0.5% Respectively
August 15, 2014, 9:44 AM
GM Concedes That the Cadillac ELR Doesn’t Really Compete with the Tesla Model S
August 15, 2014, 5:42 PM
Report: Windows 9 “Threshold” Tech Preview Coming Next Month
August 15, 2014, 11:29 AM
Apple Scores Patents, Preps New Reversible USB Plug for iPhone 6 Connector
August 18, 2014, 1:32 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information