Calgary Herald

Turns out that dirty rat was just a squirrel

- BRYCE FORBES

The supposed rat that was found in southeast Calgary on Thursday was nothing more than a bald-tailed squirrel.

Bill Bruce, manager of animal and bylaw services for the City of Calgary, confirmed on Friday that it was a case of mistaken identity.

“If you look at the picture, the body shape is wrong for a rat,” Bruce said.

A maintenanc­e man was doing mechanical work in an apartment building in the 800 block of Midridge Drive S.E. when he found a dead animal.

The creature was thought to be a Norway rat, which can measure up to 25 centimetre­s long and weigh around half a kilogram.

Alberta has proudly called itself a rat-free province since the 1950s and is vigilant to maintain that status.

Bruce said they find about 12 to 18 rats in Calgary every year. The pesky animals usually come in via shipping containers and are quickly dealt with.

“When we get those rat calls, those are priority one,” he said. “I’d rather have people phone in and be wrong than not phone in.”

 ?? Richard Hardisty, Calgary Herald ?? Bylaw officer Patty Robinson bags what later turned out to be a squirrel.
Richard Hardisty, Calgary Herald Bylaw officer Patty Robinson bags what later turned out to be a squirrel.

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