Giant Rat ‘Bigger Than A Dog’ Near Playground

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London, March 12: A gas engineer has claimed to have discovered a rat bigger than his dog as he worked at a block of flats.

The engineer identified as Tony Smith spotted the dead rodent in a bush near a children’s playground while working close to Hackney Downs in north London.

He believes it weighs more than 25lb – and is “about 4ft” long with its tail, although this would easily put it on a par with the largest known rat species in the world.

“This is the largest rat I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” he said.

He took a photograph of his friend James Green, an electrician, holding up the supersize rat to the camera.

He said bins are often left open near the estate where he has been working so “these little fellas have a pretty good diet”.

Guinness World Records does not have a record for the longest rat, but it said the largest known species of rat is the slender-tailed cloud rat found on Luzon, an island in the Philippines – the tree-climbing species has a body length of up to 3ft 3in.

According to the British Pest Control Association (BPCA), there are two species of rat in Britain – the common brown rat or the rarer black rat.

Its website says: “The brown rat is the larger of the rats in Britain, often weighing over half a kilo and measuring about 23cm, without counting the tail.”

The BPCA’s latest figures show there were 196,012 pest control call-outs involving rats in the UK in 2013-14 – a drop of 30% on the previous year.

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