Ah, Paris. City of light. City of love. City of rats.
The Guardian reports that rats have become a serious problem in the Tuileries, the famous public garden that sprawls at the foot of the Louvre. Photographs by Xavier Francolon make the damn things look as common as pigeons. (Of course, here in New York rats are just known as "locals," but at least it's on-brand.) Said one terrified gardener: "It's horrible, we're scared of being bitten.... They're really big. Sometimes they fight each other."
Gardeners who talked to the Guardian blamed the combination of a new, eco-friendly rat poison and tourists who just throw their food garbage on the ground, like ill-mannered children. Officials at the Louvre basically shrugged and said rats happen: "like any space or urban building near a river, particularly in the centre of Paris, the public domain of the Louvre museum can be the victim of a large and harmful presence of rodents, particularly in the summer." Very reassuring.
But should you spy a rodent scurrying across your path while strolling the Tuileries, have a care for his feelings before you scream. After all, a recent study suggests rats are familiar with the feeling of regret. All they want is to be boulevardiers. :(
Photo via AP Images.