Sydney is known for a few things, but if you’re an Australian who isn’t from Sydney, you probably associate it with two things: rats and cockroaches. Maybe also the Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge, and the lockout laws, and Bondi Beach, and CityRail… but obviously, the rats and cockroaches are the most important Sydney icons, at least for the purposes of this article.
Researchers at the University of Sydney have been given the green light to look into training rats to hunt cockroaches, according to Ten.
Leading the charge is Peter Banks, Professor in Conservation Biology, and Big Fan of Rats (or at least a Big Fan of Studying Them).
Despite their reputation, Banks says that water rats are actually a good thing because they deter invasive species. But he wants to take that a step further, and train them to hunt cockroaches, which would presumably result in an incredibly Battle Royale in the middle of George Street.
Banks told Ten:
“The general idea is to try and pre-arm species with the ability to recognise invaders before they actually land in the spot.”
If their experiment is successful, Banks and his team will move on to training rats to hunt the Asian House gecko. It seems that Professor Banks will not rest until rats are able to eradicate almost anything. Where will it stop? What if rats learn how to hunt… humans?!
I think we can take them.
Anyway, in the spirit of rats fighting cockroaches, I’ve come up with some other animal battles that I’d like to see happen.
- Cane toads vs. cassowaries: Two of Australia’s most annoying creatures. No matter who loses, we all win.
- Tortoises vs. rabbits: Pretty sure Aesop was onto something.
- Echidnas vs. platypuses: ALL-MONOTREME DEATH-MATCH!
- Kookaburras vs. Indian mynas: Firstly, we’ll need to train the kookaburras, to ensure they can defeat those irritating invasive mynas. Then we’ll feed them sausages as a reward.
So whose team are you on? Team Rat, or Team Cockroach? Personally, I’m on Team Rat. Fuzzy things trump bugs every single time. Plus, they can be cute. Cockroaches are irredeemably disgusting. Go rats, go!