September 22, 2023

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‘Rat tourism’ is gaining popularity in New York City |  strange

‘Rat tourism’ is gaining popularity in New York City | strange

Are you planning a trip to New York City soon and looking for a unique activity? Maybe a “rat tour” is something for you. “Rat tourism” currently prosperous In the American city besieged by several rat epidemics.

From the iconic Empire State Building to the tranquil Central Park: rats are an integral part of New York’s streets these days. Reports of rats have doubled in the past year, prompting Mayor Eric Adams to hire the city’s first rat catcher.

The rats are now a tourist attraction. City guides take advantage of this by adding some stops to their tours known for the large number of mice.

A well-known “rat guide” is Kenny Bullwerk, who takes tourists on rat hunts in the city about five times a week. Kenny started these tours after once walking the streets of New York for two hours and filming the insects live on TikTok. After that, he was shocked by the number of mice he encountered. “I thought, ‘Damn, this is bad,'” he told The Guardian. “People are walking, there are rats walking on people’s feet, and there are piles of trash on the sidewalk.”

Draw attention to the rat problem

His viewers were impressed too and Kenny soon gained many followers. He has received a flood of requests from his followers to photograph insects in various locations and from people asking if they can join him sometime. “A daughter, a father, a husband and a wife have already come with me.” Business people also like to go on Kenny’s rat tours, he said. “It’s crazy how this brings people together.”

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Kenny is not very fond of mice himself. “I’m afraid of them. Every time one of them comes at me, I jump. I don’t want them near me.” He does these tours mainly to draw attention to the growing rat problem in the city and to help people. “The fact that it brings attention to a cause and helps people in their neighborhood — I think that’s why I keep doing it. And I meet a lot of nice people through it that I wouldn’t have met otherwise.”

Rats are present everywhere in the city, whether on the streets or underground in metro stations. © Getty Images

Pied Piper

In April, the first Pied Piper was set to open in New York. “Rats and the conditions that contribute to their spread will not be tolerated,” Kathleen Corradi, the new director of rodent control, said at the time. Dirty sidewalks, abandoned lots and shamelessly dug potholes are a thing of the past.

In addition, the city has designated “rat control zones,” where officials intervene armed with rat poison. Businesses or residents who advertise rat counts will be fined. New rules have also been introduced for restaurants requiring them to throw food waste into waste containers instead of placing garbage bags on the street.