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World Wanted: Somewhat bloodthirsty NYC rat catcher

22:01  02 december  2022
22:01  02 december  2022 Source:   bbc.com

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The rats of New York City have been put on notice. There will soon be a new sheriff in town.

  Wanted: Somewhat bloodthirsty NYC rat catcher © Getty Images

Mayor Eric Adams' office is seeking a "director of rodent mitigation" - or rat czar, as many are calling it - to fight the Big Apple's "real enemy".

"The ideal candidate is highly motivated and somewhat bloodthirsty," the irreverent job advert posted this week reads.

Whoever is chosen for the role could be paid up to $170,000 (£139,000).

It is described as "a 24/7 job requiring stamina and stagecraft" for city residents with a "swashbuckling attitude, crafty humour and general aura of badassery".

Responsibilities include developing rat mitigation strategies, managing projects and policy initiatives across city agencies, and leading from the front with hands-on extermination techniques.

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"Rats will hate this job posting. But 8.8 million New Yorkers and your city government stand ready to work with you to reduce the rat population, increase cleanliness, and prevent pestilence," the statement of values for the job proclaims.

It is the latest development in a "war on rats" that began in October, after previous efforts to control the city's rodent population brought mixed results.

Other measures taken have included installing street-wide storage bins, changing when New Yorkers leave their rubbish out and setting rules for vermin-proof heavy-duty bin bags.

Rat sightings have skyrocketed in recent years, with complaints to the city's customer service number up 67% from 2019.

There are an estimated two million rats crawling through the city's streets and subways, or about one for every four New Yorkers.

But a new report, based on 2021 American Housing Survey data, may vindicate the city somewhat.

The survey puts New York City in third place for the most rodent sightings in large US metro regions.

Ahead of the city that never sleeps in the ratty ratings is Boston and Philadelphia.

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This is interesting!