“There’s no way it’s a common sewer rat,” Dr. Robert S. Voss, the Curator of Mammals at The American Museum of Natural History in New York, told HuffPost after reviewing the picture. “I’m 90 percent certain that it’s a a Gambian pouched rat.” Voss estimated the rat to be about two-and-a-half feet in length. Another huge Gambian pouched rat made headlines last year when it was killed in Brooklyn’s Marcy houses. Voss said it’s possible this rat was once a pet that could have escaped or been released. Gambian pouched rats were once imported to the United States for sale as pets, but abc.net.au reports that an outbreak of monkeypox in the early 2000s caused the importation of African rodents to be banned. Despite its size, Voss said the rat is harmless and docile, so there’s no need to be worried if you encounter one. He did, however, recommend walking away and calling animal control immediately. An employee at the Foot Locker on Fordham Road in The Bronx who was asked about the image said he was not authorized to speak on the matter. Another representative from Foot Locker’s corporate offices told HuffPost she was not familiar with the image but said she would be looking into it.
Jesus Christ! Either Splinter from TMNT really exists or NYC has it’s first confirmed chupacabra. Two and a half feet?! How is this guy even holding this thing with one hand? I don’t care how docile or innocent this fuckin thing is, if I came across it I would shit and/or piss my pants. And the thought of someone having this as a pet is even more disturbing. No wonder they let it go, it’s equivalent to having a roommate in your apartment. Probably eating everything in site and hogging all the couch space. I hope I never see something like this again…!