Kill 60 rats, get a free cell phone.
That’s the premise of a new program instituted in the Alexandra section of Johannesburg, South Africa where the rat problem is so bad that reports of children getting bit as they sleep has become run of the mill, according to the Huffington Post. The area once noted for being the first place Nelson Mandela lived when he came to Johannesburg is now known for dilapidated and crumbling structures, piles of rotting food and refuse in the streets, and leaking or non-existent sewage services – sort of a rat heaven on Earth.
There are so many rats that local Joseph Mothapo caught 23 of them on his first evening of rat trapping. Joseph told the Mail & Guardian newspaper, “It’s easy. You put your leftover food inside and the rats climb inside, getting caught as the trap door closes.” Joseph’s continued persistence has earned him two free cell phones so far and he says he won’t stop until every member of his family has a new phone.
The program is run by a local charity called Lifeline with the new phones being provided by 8ta. Despite its intended purpose to make the lives of Alexandra residents better, the rats for phone program isn’t welcomed by everyone. Animal activists have complained that the mass killing of rats is cruel. Some in this camp have gone so far as to suggest giving residents owls to keep the rat numbers at bay. This is, of course, is a horrible plan as traditional local beliefs state that owls are to be feared.
Huh. Didn’t put a lot of thought into that one did you animal activists?
What do you think? Is the 60 dead rat program a good idea? Would it work in some parts of the U.S.? Comment below! While you do that, I’m going rat hunting.