Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Corralitas Drive: Big Fat Rat Escapes Hawk

Photo: Corralitas Neighbor, August 25, 2011.  A neighbor discovered a VERY large rodent hiding in the shadow of the neighbor's green trash bin.  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

The neighbor did not immediately recognize it as a tree or roof rat because it was so enormous.  (Big ears, tail longer than body, white belly and chest identify this as a tree or roof rat.)  The neighbor shot a few photos in case it was someone's missing pet. 

According to the neighbor, judging by the lacerations to the rat's face and neck; the rat appeared to have escaped the clutches of a hawk. It was probably too heavy for a young hawk.  (It takes a while before the youngsters become successful hunters.)   When the neighbor stepped away to get a shovel and bucket to end the rat's suffering, the rat limped quickly into the bushes. 

It appears the rat's been getting fat on dog food.  Once rats find a tasty food source, they will exploit it daily.  Pick up the food bowls once your pets are through eating, do not allow food to sit out in the bowls all day or night.  Store dry pet food in tightly secured metal bins.  Plastic is no deterrent to rats. 

Keep your trashcans closed at all times, even if they are empty.  If your City trash and recycle bins are cracked or broken call 311 and get them replaced.  You can also try submitting a request on line through the City's website