HuffPost: Although Tehran has had a decades-long struggle with rats, its rodent problem seems to have grown to epic proportions as of late. Giant rats that have been flushed out of their nests by melting snow are the focus of a renewed extermination effort in the Iranian capital, according to several reports. Some of the rodents reportedly weigh as much as 11 pounds. The International Business Times quoted Tehran city council environment adviser Ismail Kahram, who told Iranian news website Qudsonline.ir that the rats “seem to have had a genetic mutation, probably as a result of radiations and the chemical used on them.” “They are now bigger and look different. These are changes that normally take millions of years of evolution. They have jumped from 60 grams to five kilos, and cats are now smaller than them,” Kahram said, according to the outlet. Regardless of size, Tehran is reportedly ramping up its response to the rodents. Apparently a team of army snipers is now hunting the rats by night, using rifles equipped with infrared scopes. IBT reported that 2,205 rats have been killed so far. It’s like a warped bonus round of “Big Buck Hunter,” except the only ones scoring points off this emergency are the media. The Times of Israel made a “Princess Bride” reference in its coverage about the rats, whereas the Times of London took aim at Tehran’s “experience when it comes to [exterminating]… its political opponents.” Whether Tehran’s rats are mutated or not, some scientists have reported that certain rat populations are becoming resistant to poison. In 2012, a researchers in Britain published findings that estimated 75 percent of rats in West England were resistant to rodenticide.
Remember the story of that huge NYC rat a while back? And that just turned out to be someone’s pet. When the rats get big enough to warrant a sniper team, it’s time to test the water in Iran. But imagine this shit in NYC? Your leaving a bar and a rat the size of a bear cub comes running down the street and all the sudden gets sniped in the head by Seal Team 6? Just another thing people would have to worry about late night in the Big Apple–subway muggers, cannibal cops, and a fuckin real life Splinter.