Ever since the flood in the Yangtze River on June 23, the people living around China’s second largest Dongting Lake are facing another daunting problem. Their households are invaded by billions of rats searching for higher lands.
The entire thing started with the increasing water level of the lake Dongting. The flood began flushing out the rat holes around the lake. Billions of rats then participated in literally the rat race that has stumbled the lifestyle of that particular locality.
Farmers are the worst victim of this strange incident. They stepped forward with literally everything, be it poison, hammer, and even their hands to kill these rodents. As a result the bank of the lake is carpeted with dead rats, endangering the environmental stability of the area. Tan Lulu, who works for the international conservation group WWF, told National Geographic News from WWF’s Hunan office in Changsha
There are so many rats that you can kill three of them with one [strike]
According to Chinese media reports, around 2 billions of rats are storming the locality. However, the source or method to determine this exact number is not defined. The rats have spoiled around 4 million acres of farmland by eating the crops. This is a severe loss to the agricultural community, who came out with their solutions. Since the invasion began, they have already killed around 2 millions of rodents that weigh around 90 tons of dead bodies, which is a mammoth amount in any case. Local authorities have distributed rat poisons to fight this problem. In some places around the lake, 2 feet tall concrete wall has been erected to keep the rodents out of the farmlands.
The main focus of government at this moment is on educating the people in protecting themselves while killing the rats. Peng Zaizhi, director of the emergency control division of the Hunan provincial disease prevention and control center, told the China Daily
The current focus is on educating the villagers in protecting themselves while killing the rats, and supervising the local health situation
The effect on environment can not be neglected after this killing operation. The lake used to be a beautiful place, but by this time it has been enormously polluted. The behaviour of the rats has been defined as the long term result of draught situation around the lake. In that period rodents found their holes in the land dried out due to draught situation in the lake, but with the increasing water level this year, they had no option but to search for higher lands.
This situation still exists and it may take some time to have a complete control over the situation.
Source (Story & Image): National Geographic