Two young children were killed and partially devoured by a giant species of rats in South Africa last week. These horrific events come on the heels of a similar attack that took the life of a 77-year-old grandmother in May.
Attacked in her sleep
Last week 3-year-old Lunathi Dwadwa was attacked and killed while she was sleeping in her family’s shack in the Khayelitsha slum located outside of Cape Town. Her parents never even heard her cries. When her mother, Bukiswa Dwadwa, 27, looked in on Lunathi, the child’s eyes were missing. “Nothing could have done that but rats,” her father, Mncedisi Mokoena told police.
Second child killed
Another girl was killed the same day in the Soweto township near Johannesburg while her teenage mother was out with her friends. The name and age of the child have not been released.
Police officer Bongani Mhlongo reported, “We were called to the scene of the death of an infant due to a rat attack on Monday morning at around 9 a.m. The mother of the child was arrested on charges of culpable homicide and negligence.”
A wave of attacks
These attacks are the most recent of a wave of attacks by the rats. Last month Nomathemba Joyi, a 77-year-old grandmother, died after giant rats attacked her and chewed off part of her face.
African giant pouched rats
The killer rats, described as “the size of cats,” grow up to three feet long and have front teeth more than an inch long. They belong to a nocturnal species of rodents known as the African giant pouched rat or the Gambian pouched rat. Their name refers to the hamster-like pouches in their cheeks. The rats thrive in the filthy conditions of the South African township slums. Some townships cultivate the rats as a food source.
Daily Telegraph: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/weird/giant-rat-blamed-for-deadly-attacks-on-children-in-south-africa/story-e6frev20-1226070792317
Coming Crisis: http://thecomingcrisis.blogspot.com/2011/06/giant-rats-eat-two-babies-in-south.html
Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1393836/Giant-rats-eat-babies-South-Africa-townships-separate-attacks.html
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