Tails you win: prize for catching 40,000 rats is a colour TV

Published on 06 February 2009

A poor farmer from northern Bangladesh was awarded a 14in colour television yesterday after being crowned the country’s rat-killing champion. Binoy Kumar Karmakar, 40, used traps, poison and flooding to kill 39,650 rats over the course of a year, equivalent to one every 13 minutes, according to government officials and local media reports. He cut off and kept the creatures’ tails as proof of his claim to the top prize in the competition, which was organised by the Government to stop rats from eating scarce food supplies. [...] Last year a plague of rats in the southeastern region of Chittagong Hill Tracts destroyed the crops of tens of thousands of people, and caused famine in some remote villages. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) distributed aid to 120,000 people for four months after the infestation had forced villagers – mostly from local hill tribes – to live on wild roots.

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