Rats the Size of House Cats Invade the Florida Keys
You may remember the ferocious R.O.U.S. (Rodents of Unusual Size) in the fire swamps of The Princess Bride. This time time, they’re real — and invading the Florida Keys.
A species of invasive African rat larger than the average house cat has made a reappearance in Grassy Key, despite efforts to wipe them out for the past 10 years. According to KeysNet, the population of Gambian pouched rat breed of giant rodents proliferated at the turn of the century when a local exotic animal breeder allowed eight to escape.
As of 2009, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission thought the region was in the clear. But alas, the 3-foot-long beasts, weighing as much as 9 pounds, came back with a vengeance. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, at least a few dozen are running wild. ”In the early part of 2011, a resident emailed me and said he saw one of the rats. We were skeptical but went back and talked to people and