A chilling urban legend from New York City comes terribly true on the opposite side of the globe, as three-foot rats run amok, feasting on human babies. The Daily Mail writes:
Giant rats as big as cats have killed and eaten two babies in separate attacks in South Africa’s squalid townships this week.
Lunathi Dwadwa, three, was killed as she slept in her parent’s shack outside Cape Town and another girl was killed in Soweto township near Johannesburg the same day. Bukiswa Dwadwa, 27, said: ‘I can’t forget how ugly my child looked after her eyes were ripped out. ‘She was eaten from her eyebrows to her cheeks, her other eye was hanging by a piece of flesh.’
Residents of South Africa’s impoverished townships say the giant rats grow up to three-foot long, including their tails, and have front teeth over an inch long. The suspects in the baby attacks are believed to be African Giant Pouched Rats, the biggest in the world. They are nocturnal, omnivorous and can produce up to 50 young a year. Some tribal people breed them for food.
The deaths appear to be part of a spate of deadly rat attacks in the country. Last month, 77-year-old grandmother Nomathemba Joyi died after giant rats chewed off the right side of her face.