Sunday, August 2, 2009

Rats! Rodents 'Running Wild' in SA Cities

Rats are a global issue. Everyone in the United States has heard stories/jokes about rats in New York City that are "as big as (fill in the blank with any animal smaller than a pachyderm)."

Where did I read that something like one-third of India's annual grain harvest is lost to rats?

I recently learned that if you have a fruit tree in your backyard ... you almost certainly have rats. And the odds go up in that tree is a fig tree or an avocado tree.

So, rats in South Africa cities? Doesn't sound like earth-shaking news. But the Johannesburg Sunday Times reports that the rat situation in South Africa cities is getting worse. Well, ahem.

The story suggests that Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban -- each of them home to World Cup venues -- are "in an advanced state of infestation."

No one likes rats. They are living, breathing proof of poor hygiene -- and are likely to contribute to more health problems.

But they are just one more of the issues that will face visitors to the 2010 World Cup. Shaky travel infrastructure, an AIDS epidemic, violent crime, civic unrest, a shortage of hotel rooms and, on top of everything else ... rat infestations.

Just saying. Fans need to think this through before they commit to traveling to the 2010 World Cup. When it comes to clean and tidy, safe and orderly ... well, South Africa will never be confused with, say, Switzerland.

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