Sun (U.K.) (August 19, 2010)
"HORRIFIED neighbours told yesterday how their homes are being invaded by giant rats - including a 30-INCH LONG monster that was shot dead.
"The rodents, twice the size of common types, are plaguing an estate in Bradford, West Yorks, often appearing in kitchens and lounges.
"It is feared some could be 'super rats' from South America.
"Pictured above is a monster 2½ft rat killed on the estate...."
Four other critters about the same size got away while Brandon Goddard was gunning that one down.
There seems to be a colony of those - things - in the area.
Which is a sort of good news / bad news thing.
The bad news is that folks living around there are sharing territory with rat-things that are bigger than some of their dogs.
The good news is that critter experts have something interesting to study.
"...Last night experts called the shot rat "extraordinary" and said the colony was worth investigating.
"Laura Drake, of the Mammal Society, speculated it could be a coypu - a South American rodent often referred to as a 'giant rat'.
"Coypus were thought to have been eradicated in Britain in a cull 20 years ago. But Laura said it was 'not impossible' there had been survivors...."
The Coypu look a bit like outsize rats: but where rats have our habit of eating just about anything, the coypu are plant-eaters. More about coypu:
- "Nutria (Myocastor coypus)"
Introduced Species Summary Project, Columbia University in the City of New York