Roof rat trapped in Drumheller neigh­bour­hood

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail sub­mit­ted

A Drumheller res­i­dent had a sur­prise last Satur­day morn­ing when he dis­cov­ered he had trapped what ap­peared to be a rat.

The grey ro­dent, which had a tail that was eight or nine inches long and a 6-inch body was in a trap he had set to deal with an­other pest in his yard.

He at­tempted to con­tact Fish and Wildlife, but was un­able to have an of­fi­cer re­spond. A neigh­bour, who is in by­law en­force­ment, took pos­ses­sion of the an­i­mal and de­stroyed it.

The Town of Drumheller has is­sued a press re­lease stat­ing that the ro­dent dis­cov­ered was a roof rat, and not a Nor­way rat.

“Af­ter an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Al­berta Agri­cul­ture and Forestry has con­firmed the ro­dent is a roof rat. Roof rats are not na­tive to the prairies and do not like cold weather. This species of rat is found more com­monly in the warm, wet ar­eas of the East and West Coasts of Canada,” it stated.

“Of­fi­cials be­lieve the rat en­tered Al­berta on a ve­hi­cle, which trav­elled from an area com­mon to roof rats. Th­ese rats are usu­ally found alone and rarely in pairs.”

Christina Bruce, spokesper­son for Al­berta Agri­cul­ture and Forestry said that while it is not the more wor­ri­some Nor­way rat, a roof rat is still a se­ri­ous con­cern.

Any­thing in the rat­tus rat fam­ily is a con­cern, roof rats are a part of that as well,” she said, adding that by all in­di­ca­tions it is a sin­gle rat.

“The rat free sta­tus means there is no per­ma­nent pop­ula- This ro­dent, deemed a roof rat, was dis­cov­ered in a yard along River­side Drive. Of­fi­cials be­lieve it is an iso­lated case, but are be­ing vig­i­lant to make sure there are not any more in the area. tions, we don’t let them es­tab­lish them­selves."

In 2015, the prov­ince had 24 con­firmed rat re­ports. Of those, there were 18 sin­gle rats, two in­fes­ta­tions and four lit­tle groups that were ex­ter­mi­nated.

"That is pretty typ­i­cal, we have be­tween 12 and 24 con­firmed in a year and two or three in­fes­ta­tions,” said Bruce.

This was the fifth dis­cov­ered in the prov­ince this year.

Ac­cord­ing to the Town, “The Town of Drumheller Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices Depart­ment will be proac­tive to en­sure this is an iso­lated case in Drumheller. While more rat traps will be set up in the area of the sight­ing, the Town asks res­i­dents to be vig­i­lant while trav­el­ling. If res­i­dents have trav­elled to a warmer cli­mate in a ve­hi­cle and have ques­tions or con­cerns about roof rats please call Pro­tec­tive Ser­vices Di­rec­tor Greg Pe­ters at 403-8231363 or email gpeters@di­nosaur­val­”

Fur­ther, to re­port a rat sight­ing to the prov­ince call 310RATS.

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