Rat plague spreads to Australia’s fishing towns

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Thousands of rats – dead and alive – have swept up on beaches in Queensland Australia, overwhelming residents.

Queensland, Australia, is currently facing a persistent rat and mouse plague, stemming from a substantial increase in the native rodent population. This surge has prompted rodents to migrate toward the coast in search of more food, with many not surviving the journey, as noted by experts cited in local media. Residents in affected areas, such as Derek Lord from the town of Normanton, have reported widespread rat infestations causing significant damage. Instances include the destruction of vehicles, such as chewing through wiring in the engine bay of cars, and interference with pets, exemplified by rats breaking into cages holding pet ducks.

The neighboring town of Karumba has also experienced a recent surge in rat infestations, raising concerns among residents about potential adverse effects on the local tourism industry. Karumba is known for its fishing and birdwatching attractions. Disturbing images and videos circulating on social media depict heaps of dead rats piled up by the water and floating in rivers. These visuals underscore the severity of the issue and the challenges faced by communities dealing with the rodent invasion.

The rat surge has been attributed to a combination of ideal wet weather conditions for breeding and a bountiful harvest. Some residents fear that the situation may worsen with more wet weather expected for Queensland, heightening the need for effective strategies to address the ongoing rodent plague. Australia’s national science agency reported that parts of Queensland and New South Wales have seen a notable increase in rodent numbers, reaching plague conditions not witnessed since 2011. This indicates a broader ecological impact and underscores the urgency of addressing the issue at a regional level. Local businesses, including fishing charter owner Jemma Probert, express concerns about the lasting impact on the community and its reputation. The ongoing rat plague poses multifaceted challenges, requiring coordinated efforts to mitigate its impact on residents, businesses, and the local ecosystem.

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