New rat menace in Hamelin
The city of the legendary Pied Piper is battling those rodents again.
Hamelin, Germany -- The rats are back in Hamelin, where a legendary Pied Piper once rid the Germany city of both rodents and children.
The city confirmed Tuesday it was battling a rat population explosion in an area of overgrown former garden allotments close to the city center.
"It's like a rubbish dump in there and has developed into a rat refuge," said municipal spokesman Thomas Wahmes. After a rapid rise in rat numbers this year, the vermin were spreading into a new housing estate nearby.
The city's hands are tied because it does not own the wilderness, where locals used to grow vegetables. Its ownership is legally so tangled that no one can act.
Rat poison has been distributed in a ring around the rat-ridden area.
In the medieval legend of the Pied Piper, a stranger playing music on a pipe mesmerized the rats to drown themselves in the Weser River. Because the city, known in the German language as Hameln, refused to pay him, he vanished with all its children.