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  (Source: Mirage Studios)
"Mutant" rodents can grow to 5 kg, are about as big as cats, outnumber residents 6-to-1

According to a top government-owned English language newspaper in the United Arab Emirates -- The National -- the streets of Tehran have been running red with blood, as the government has deployed military troops to kill mutant rodents.

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 wide
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 LSU tells 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.

Mutant 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.

Sources: The National (UAE), The Huffington Post

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By nleksan on 3/8/2013 1:34:57 AM , Rating: 2
Why not put a bounty system in place? $1USD (or whatever) per Rat Carcass?

I would love to get some moving-target practice with some of my rifles... Set up with my custom 14.5"-Barreled AR15 in .300 Blackout (12" Free-Float RIS, Chromed Select-Fire Trigger Assembly, Piston Gas System, AAC BLK Suppressor, MagPul ACS Stock with Cheek Riser, TangoDown BattleGrip, MagPul EMAG's w Round Window, SureFire M910V w Cree LED's, Troy Low-Profile Battlesights, EOTech EXPS3-2 Holographic Sight and G23.FTS 3x Magnifier, etc); swap the sight for Leupold Mk4 3-9x45 Mil-Spec Reticule scope and a current-gen NV Scope, throw a bipod on there (TangoDown side-mounted one), load up a dozen magazines with 26rds of 230gr .300BLK subsonic each, and get a comfy chair, a cooler, a 12 pack, and a friend for some competitive rat hunting lol.

Or, take the aggressive approach... Spec Ops: R.A.T.S.
Go grab a bunch of my old tactical gear (wherever it's hiding; Vest, Pack, Belt, Drop-Leg holster, drop-leg mag pouches, mag dump pouch, Camelbak, BlackHawk Hellstorm kevlar gloves, "tactical boots" made entirely of leather/Kevlar/Carbon Fiber, knee pads, Oakley shatterproof/fog-proof goggles, etc), waterproof flight suit-style getup, some Night Vision with a flip-up mount for helmet (and Thermal Imaging/FLIR; one monocular of each?), NOMEX Balaclava, and a gas-mask with a few extra filters.
Take my HK416 10.4" (EOTech EXPS3-4 w G23.FTS 3x, GemTech G5-T Suppressor, MagPul EMAGs, SureFire M910V w extra batteries in compartment in stock and in vest, Insight AN/PEQ-15 IR/Visible/Strobe) or H&K UMP.45 Select-Fire submachinegun (25rd Polymer magazines, polymer dual-magazine clamps, GemTech Suppressor, Knights RIS, SureFire M910V, HK Backup Irons, Trijicon Reflex Sight with Variable-Intensity reticule)...or maybe just a TDI Vector .45ACP with a Defiance HPS suppressor, Trijicon reflex sight, and a SureFire weaponlight (and DD Vertical Foregrip)...
Carry a master key in the form of a Benelli M3 Super90 Entry 12GA Semi-Auto/Pump-Action Shotgun (13" Barrel, 4+1 Tube, Cylinder Bore, Pistol Grip with collapsing stock, Tritium illuminated Ghost Ring sights, door-breaching muzzle brake, SureFire integrated foregrip weaponlight, side-saddle 5-shell holder), and carrying a nice mix of 3" shells including Rifled Slugs, #6 Bird (breaching), #4 Buck, #7 Buck, 00 Buck, and .50cal Sabot Slugs.

Strap my trusty Sig P226 Tactical .357SIG to my waist, HK USP.45 Tactical with Knights Armaments suppressor and Insight Light/Laser in drop-leg....

Load up on ~210gr .45ACP Hornady Extreme-Expansion hollowpoint rounds (subsonic, virtually silent when suppressed, but make big holes!)...

Oh, and bring a dozen CS grenades, a dozen concussion grenades, a dozen fragmentation grenades, a dozen incendiary/white phosphor grenades... Save bullets and get a bunch at once.



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