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Taken at the Marcy House projects in Brooklyn last week this photo apparently shows housing worker Jose Rivera holding a three-foot rat he killed at the end of a pitch fork.Rivera told The Daily News he hit the rodent once and it kept moving, but he struck it again and it died. “I’m not scared of rats,” he said, “but I was scared of being bitten.”
Rivera was filling a rat hole when three came running up at him, but he managed to kill only one.
Officials at Marcy Houses say sightings of the larger rats have been coming in for several years, but this is the first time one has been killed.
Animal experts say the rodent appears to be a Gambian pouched rat which have been outlawed in the U.S. since causing a 2003 outbreak of monkeypox that sickened 100 people.
Resident Stephanie Davis told The Daily News, “Even the cats are afraid of the rats. They get together and gang up on the cats.”