Letter From America

Marion McKeone: Forget the Empire State building, tourists now make a beeline for NY rat tours

The population of the pests has exploded and enterprising locals are now giving tourists the latest Big Apple ‘experience’ while a $170,000 rat tzar has been hired to deal with the issue

New York has been waging, and losing, a war on rats for decades

New Yorkers pride themselves on their ability to monetise any situation. Just days after the 9/11 attacks, street hawkers were selling toilet roll with Osama bin Laden’s image on every sheet.

So it’s not surprising that some enterprising locals have cashed in on the city’s well-documented rat problem by providing rodent-themed tours. For a fee, operators will take out-of-towners to hot spots where they can watch hordes of rats do their thing. Interest in these ...