A fat rat has gone viral after officials in Germany rescued the rodent from a manhole after it apparently got stuck.
“She had a lot of winter flab and was stuck fast at her hip—there was no going forward or back,” animal rescuer Michael Sehr was quoted by the BBC as saying. The rescue was carried out in the German town of Bensheim.
Fox News reported that nine people were involved in the rescue, including firefighters, animal rescue workers, and other emergency responders.
AS WE SAY IN THE SOUTH…BLESS HIS HEART!https://nypost.com/2019/02/26/firefighters-rescue-fat-rat-found-stuck-in-sewer-grate/
The rat was reportedly discovered by two young girls and looked on as the animal was freed.
Eventually, rescuers were able to prop up the manhole and place a loop around the rat.
A video showed the entire rescue, leading up to the pest animal’s return to the sewer.
A large animal rescue operation was carried out, prompting many to ask why there was so much time and effort involved.
“I’m sorry, but rats are disgusting. I don’t mind the freeing him, but did they really need 9 people?” one person commented on social media.
“So they let the rat go back into the sewer to breed more vermin,” added another person.
— Karam Shoumali (@KaramShoumali) February 26, 2019
Another wrote, “Hundreds, maybe thousands of rats are intentionally killed every day, yet they utilize nine people to save this one. Not a very wise allocation of resources.”
Some speculated that the rescuers didn’t kill the rat because two girls were looking on.
“Even animals that are hated by many deserve respect,” Sehr responded.
One of the girls who found the rat gave Sehr a hand-drawn of a rat surrounded by hearts as a token of appreciation.
"The rat had quite a lot of winter fat," the firefighters said.We've all been there…
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the bubonic plague, which killed millions of Europeans—including Germans—in the late Middle Ages is spread via rats, mice, and squirrels.
It’s “usually transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected flea,” the agency says, adding that “black rats were the most commonly infected animals and hungry rat fleas would jump from their recently-dead rat hosts to humans, looking for a blood meal.”
The Great Plague, or “Black Death,” is believed to have originated in China in 1334 before spreading along trade routes to the Byzantine empire before reaching Europe.
In a few decades, the plague “claimed an estimated 60 percent of the European population,” writes the agency. “Entire towns were wiped out.”
Now, the plague is mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, accounting for 95 percent of recent cases.
The plague has been used as a biological weapon for many centuries.
“As a highly contagious disease with an extremely high mortality rate if left untreated,” says the CDC, “Yersinia pestis has been used as a weapon of biological warfare for centuries.”
The agency adds: “Some warfare strategies have included catapulting corpses over city walls, dropping infected fleas from airplanes, and aerosolizing the bacteria during the Cold War.”