A rat plague has infested and overwhelmed this popular coastal town and tourist destination

Jan 8, 2024

Cities around the world are facing a plague of violence and disruption from left-wing terrorists.

But it turns out that’s not the only plague facing the world’s cities and towns.

Because now a rat plague has infested and overwhelmed this popular coastal town and tourist destination.

The wildly popular coastal town of Karumba, Australia, is dealing with a rat infestation of plague-like proportions.

Piles of dead rodents

The usually picturesque and desirable seaside town in northern Queensland is known as a destination for RV owners.

But now, according to Australia’s ABC News, it has been overrun by thousands of rats.

And that’s not even the worst of it.

Apparently the rats have been swimming out to sea by the thousands and then drowning on the way back to shore.

This has led to a dangerous problem of piles of dead rodents strewn about the beach.

“They swim out to the sandbanks at low tide and when the water comes up, they drown and their bodies are washed back onto the beach,” local business owner Jemma Probert told ABC News.

“At first it was just a few down on the beach, but now they’re all over the community. […] We had about eight in our yard last night that the dogs got,” Probert continued.

The invading rats are the Australian native long-haired rats, aptly nicknamed the “plague rat.”

A super spreader of the rodent variety

Fortunately for residents of Karumba, the nickname doesn’t refer to the rat’s propensity to spread disease, but to its ability to explode in population and spread in overwhelming numbers, and very quickly. 

According to the Australian nature site Land for Wildlife, “A female long-haired rat can produce 12 babies per litter every three weeks in favorable conditions, making for the super-spreader environment Karumba and other Queensland cities are now experiencing.”

The region received more rainfall than usual during the wet season earlier in the year, which led to increased vegetation growth for food and nesting material for the rats.

While this may be good news for the rats, it is bad news for the people of Karumba.

The rats chew through cars and homes and destroy crops on land, and are now making their way onto fishing boats, putting the expensive boating electronics of commercial fishermen at risk as they chew through wiring.

“When the moon came over the town last night, the river was well and truly alive with the bodies of rats,” local fisherman Brett Fallon told ABC.

Fallon said he was finding “at least 100 rats a night” aboard his boat, climbing up his vessel’s anchor chain from the water below.

Unfortunately, relief does not seem to be in sight as the Southern Hemisphere moves into summer and another wet season, which will add fuel to an already raging rat fire.

“Usually plagues drop off when food sources become scarce but the north is moving into the wet season where it is going to be quite easy for rats to find a meal,” said Peter Banks, professor of environmental sciences at the University of Sydney.

“I really don’t know what is going to happen here.”

Karumba Mayor Jack Bawden was just as pessimistic about the ongoing rat plague.

“Unfortunately, there’s a lot here and there’s a lot more coming up from western and southern Queensland,” he said. “We’re not getting any relief anytime soon. […] We may just have to wait it out.”

Hot Take Politics will keep you up-to-date on any developments to this ongoing story.

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