Experts say the uncharacteristic aggression in the rats and the Coronavirus pandemic are related. According to affiliates of Today’s Five, An MTA worker was attacked by a pack of around 30 rats over Memorial Day Weekend. Ryan Fischer, 35, has been an engineer and safety inspector for the MTA for over 10 years. Fischer reports the attack happened in the subway tunnel near 42nd and Lexington while he was inspecting the R line, he is unsure which station at the time he was closest to. while he was out alone inspecting the train line near the entrance. The attack happened on Saturday, Fischer estimates it was around 2 am.
“It was definitely late, I was doing a quick check before heading out.” Explains Fischer, “I turned the bend and with my flashlight saw at least forty or fifty rats all crawling all over each other and eating some large carcass. Seeing that caught me off guard big time. Like we see rats all the time, but like I was definitely caught off guard because usually its one or two max and they scatter when you put the light on them, but these guys didn’t seem to notice me so I did watch for a bit. Then I felt things crawling up my legs, there were like three or four rats climbing up the back of my legs, they were so fast too it was unreal. Before I could start running they were scratching at my neck. I turned my flashlight and there were rats literally everywhere. There were altleast 30 of them jumping at me and latching on but I had long pants and a jacket of course so I was swiping off most of them, by the time I got out of the tunnel all but a few had retreated, kicked the last two. Never ever have I seen rats act like this.”
Fischer only had a few minor injuries from the experience and after an examination from the hospital was released within hours. Fischer overall seems to be un-phased by it, but he is not the first to a notice a change in the behavior of NYC rats.