August 20, 2010 11.32 am This story is over 163 months old

Giant rat horror at Lincoln factory

Ratzillas: Two huge rats were captured at a factory in the Lincoln area, after terrifying workers during the night.

A pest control company were called to a factory in the Lincoln area to catch a pair of 2 feet wild rats. Rentokil successfully captured the huge creatures, which were almost 30 inches long. The firm attended the problem after workers said they had seen a pair of large rats wandering around late at night.

“They were both around 2 feet and it’s fair to say that our technicians were very surprised at the size,” Malcom Padley from Rentokil told The Sun.

Speaking to The Lincolnite this morning, Padley also believed that cases like this were rare, and that there is no need for alarm:

“Rodents can grow large in the right conditions — lots of food, water and a area that’s remote, or not disturbed.

“So it’s rare. But any rodent sighting should be taken seriously.”

The sighting follows a similar rat captured in Bradford, nicknamed Ratzilla, which measured 30 inches.

Unknown animal origin

Some people believe that the 2 feet rodents may not be a rat, but a South American coypus. In the last decade, there have been 11 sightings of the semi-aquatic rodent in the UK, despite culling in 1989.

Lilly Hoyland, Honorary Secretary of the North of England Rat Society doesn’t believe the creature is a rat either: “In my honest opinion, I reckon it’s a load of rubbish! But if not, the rat should certainly be kept alive and observed.”

Common wild rats measure on average only 12 inches in adulthood. Fancy domesticated rats can measure up to 18 inches. Wild rats live for approximately one year, while fancy rats live up to three years.

— Update 2: Marina Pacheco, chief executive of the Mammal Society, told BBC News that the 2 feet creatures are not coypus.  She said the rodents did not have the distinctive orange teeth seen in the species.

— Update 1: Simon Colburn, Environmental Protection Manager for the City of Lincoln Council said:

“If a member of the public found a rat in their house, we’d advise them to get it treated immediately by a professional. We have a contractor who will carry out the work at a fair price (currently £48 inc. VAT), or look in a business directory like Yellow Pages under Pest Control.”

Related reports: The Sun, Daily Mail | Photos: Rentokil