An Army of Rats Has Taken Over Prospect Park

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Photo: istockphoto

Living in New York means living in denial of a few things: We choose to believe that no one has recently urinated on our subway seat, that our apartment is actually a pretty decent size, and that rats confine themselves to Dumpsters and subway tracks. If something happens to disrupt this vision, we find a way to distract ourselves or ignore it. ("It's probably soda!" "It's a great neighborhood!" "Those are bunnies in the bushes!") That's what the Brooklyn Paper is doing today. Someone told them that on summer weekend nights, Prospect Park becomes like one giant Country Buffet for rats — and not the cute kind like in Ratatouille, but the horrible big fat ones who eat leftover scraps from picnics and then piss and shit all over the place. Does the Paper muse on how utterly gross this is for the people that fully lie in the grass and eat and touch things in the park?

No. Instead of going around screaming "Oh my God there are rats everywhere never go to the park move to Connecticut you have rat shit on your hands!" they decide to focus on the puppies. It's the pets who are in real danger, they say, since rat poop carries leptospitosis, which can cause liver and kidney problems in animals. And so they go to Dog Beach and try to drum up outrage on behalf of dog owners. It works, a little. And then one sage pet owner puts things back into perspective with a somewhat existential response:

Glynn Sullivan, out walking his dog Zora, had also never heard of the deadly disease, but remained unfazed. “She eats s— in the street,” he said. “That’s probably going to kill her too.”


Also, we're all going to die. And we all totally have urine on our shoes right now.

Rat droppings poison ‘Dog Beach’ [Brooklyn Paper]