Warning: This video may be disturbing to some readers.
Mere weeks after the Pizza Rat inspired New Yorkers and the world with his determination and pluck, improving his fellow rodents’ reputation in the process, another of the city’s rats has come forward to prove us all wrong.
In a year-old YouTube video, a huge rat spars with a helpless pigeon, apparently slaughtering the bird without scruples and dragging it off near a bush to presumably devour it, beak to feet.
The rat vs. pigeon video is nearly three minutes long and was posted to YouTube in August 2014, the New York Post reported. Called “Rat Vs. Pigeon in Williamsburg, NY,” the video was filmed by a man named John Freund.
“I’m telling you New York has genetically mutated rats,” a voice says on the video, Pix 11 reported. “They [have] superpowers. This is insane.”
As of Wednesday, the gruesome video had garnered more than 240,000 hits. It resurfaced Tuesday, perhaps thanks to Pizza Rat’s popularity and a renewed interest in all things vermin.
— Complex (@ComplexMag) October 13, 2015
Taking place on a nondescript sidewalk in the city, the rat vs. pigeon battle is quite disturbing to watch though obviously the bystanders filming it have simply walked in on an act of nature taking its course. Thus, the video feels a bit like a nature documentary, filmed right in the bowels of the city.
It starts with the two already engaged in the fight, the bird flapping helplessly while the rat has it in what looks like a headlock. The onlookers narrate the battle like sportscasters, NYSE Post added.
Early on, the bird manages to get away just as the rat drags it off the sidewalk, but the predator is far too fast. With onlookers encouraging the pigeon’s escape, the bird — which appears to be injured — is soon brought into its grasp once again. They wonder — do rats actually eat pigeons?
Apparently they do. As omnivores, their food options are pretty wide, which is why they’re so widespread and plentiful. They like to eat stuff other rats have consumed and actually don’t like to try new things, which seems to imply birds could be a regular part of their diet.
(Fun fact: Rats can’t vomit so they must be careful of what they eat.)
In the rat vs. pigeon battle, the former drags the latter down the sidewalk, digging its teeth into its neck every so often. After the injured preys attempts at escape, the predator does eventually subdue it and carries his meal up a stoop, then disappears into a bush — thankfully out of sight — to eat.
Since the video doesn’t clearly depict the pigeon’s death at the hand of the rat, Pix 11 noted that it isn’t clear whether or not it died.
The entire fight occurs only a few feet from those filming it, and though they offer encouragement to the underdog, they do nothing to help. Though it may not be wise to pry a chomping and hungry animal from its hard-won meal, there is something insensitive about the bystanders’ blood lust and apparent enjoyment of what is, of course, a fact of nature.
“Nature at its very cruelest,” said one onlooker, the Daily Mail added.
And when the city’s stash of pizza runs out, apparently its vermin must resort to crueler methods of getting food.
Clearly, the Pizza Rat has more in the way of likeability than this Brooklyn rodent with a penchant for cold-blooded murder. At the time, plenty of news outlets were quick to pin some symbolism on the situation.
Esquire took it a bit far, saying, “We relate to the little guy desperate to get home… Pizza rat, you are all of us. We are you.”
So what does this latest, much more gruesome video, symbolize? It’s a rat eat pigeon world.
[Photo Courtesy Gallinago_media / Shutterstock]