A long ways away from New York and with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles nowhere in site, a giant rat was caught in the province of Fujian in China earlier this year, scooped up by the scruff of his neck by a man known only as Mr. Xian.
Weighing in at six pounds and possessing a monstrous foot-long tail, Mr. Xian only grabbed it after seeing how it had become the center of attention in the six-million strong city of Fuzhou. Assuming it was a rare species he grabbed it, posed for a picture, and fled the scene one giant rat richer.
It has been identified as either a Chinese bamboo rat, which can be found throughout southern China, or a Sumatra bamboo rat. The Sumatra bamboo rat can grow to be three times as long as its puny Chinese cousin and weigh up to eight pounds. Closer inspection of the animal, however, is necessary to make an official identification.
Though perfectly content with living underground and moving incredibly slow, giant rats have enjoyed a long tradition as antagonists in popular media. Peter Jackson’s cult classic Brain Dead features a Sumatran rat-monkey, a twisted hybrid resulting from the unholy union between plague rats and tree monkeys, while Westley must save Princess Buttercup from ROUSes – Rodents of Unusual Size – in Rob Reiner’s 1987 adaptation of the William Goldman novel, The Princess Bride.