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Seattle Attempts to Save Rat Population
Status: Hoax
Signs that appeared in a park in Fremont near Seattle announced that the city's park department "was planning to build a habitat to save the declining canal-rat population, species name: Rattus Norvegicus. The signs said the city was going to plant thorny bushes along that bank of the Lake Washington Ship Canal to make a safe and human-free habitat to increase the 'canal rat community.'" It all turned out to be a hoax, though according to the Seattle Times, many people were fooled: "At the Indoor Sun Shoppe across the street, customers were abuzz that Seattle is trying to save rats... Only one person said he thought it was a good idea, to protect them from the herons."
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 29, 2005

Man! If Seattle thinks it doesn't have enough rats, I wish the townsfolk would come pick up some of the ones here and take them home.
Posted by Big Gary in Dallas  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Fri Sep 30, 2005  at  05:21 PM
Great joke. I had to chuckle reading the article.
Posted by Rick  in  Ohio  on  Sat Oct 01, 2005  at  10:11 PM
Too bad it was a hoax. I love rats!
Posted by Sakano  in  Ohio  on  Mon Oct 03, 2005  at  03:26 PM
Well, if somebody doesn't do it, rattus norvegicus could well become extinct: Common brown rats ( Forget the Linnean name ) are taking over many of their habitats including ships - Where R. norvegicus used to be the big cheese hence it's other name of ship rat.

Surely Greenpaece could get involved: After all, they spend US$120K a year protesting about making smallpox extinct ( they are against it ), sio surely cute lil' rats come into it as well?
Posted by DFStuckey  in  Auckland New Zealand  on  Tue Oct 04, 2005  at  12:28 AM
That's very funny. Even I also love rats.
Posted by Michelle  in  Canada  on  Thu Oct 06, 2005  at  10:25 AM
Stuckey: You have it backwards. The black rat (Rattus rattus) is the one that's been elbowed out of its former urban habitats by the larger, more aggressive brown rat (Rattus norvegicus). Neither species is native to the New World.
Posted by Elizabeth  in  Austin, TX  on  Tue Nov 01, 2005  at  11:34 PM
Elizabeth, always glad to be corrected smile

However, that may be the case in the Nearctic, but I was sure that the situation was as I said in the Palearctic and Asian realms....

Anyway, we mostly have Polynesian and Norwegian rats around here.
Posted by DFStuckey  in  Auckland New Zealand  on  Wed Nov 02, 2005  at  01:10 AM
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