A man reportedly discovered a rat “the size of a small child” while working on a housing estate in East London, England.
While working near a popular children’s playground, gas engineer Tony Smith allegedly found a dead rat that weighed 25 pounds.
“This is the largest rat I’ve ever seen in my entire life,” Smith said. “I’ve got a cat and a Jack Russell and it was bigger than both of those put together. I’d say it was about four foot.”
The average adult rat measures about 9 to 11 inches long, with a tail about 7 to 9 inches in length, as reported by The Telegraph.
Smith asked a friend, electrician James Green, to hold the animal so they could gather photographic evidence of the creature.
“We were going to stick it in the bin, but before we did we thought we better take a picture or people won’t believe it’s real," Smith said.
He also said the area has been experiencing an infestation of large rats, which is being dealt with using poison.
“The bins get left open nearby so these little fellas have a pretty good diet,” he said. "They eat fried chicken and rice all the time."
However, quite a few people believe the size of the animal was exaggerated, in part due to the angle in which the photo of the creature was taken. Hackney Council tweeted a picture of one of their employees holding a toy monkey in a similar manner to which Green held the rat.
“Our pest controllers visited & didn't find anything,” the organization tweeted, as reported by The Metro. “We're pretty sure it's not THAT big though.”
Steven Belmain, Professor of Ecology at the University of Greenwich, also believes the rat was much smaller than Smith reported.
“All wild rats in England are Norway rats," Belmain told The Independent. "I accept that they may find very well fed and mature animals that are at the upper limit of size, but they are certainly not going to reach [25 pounds]. There are rodents in the Tropics such as cane rats that get that big, but there is no way a Norway rat will get that big."