The Louvre is a must-see tourist attraction for those visiting Paris, but there's a very unwelcome visitor in the gardens outside of it: rats. Cue the horror film music. (Via Getty Images)
"Experts estimate that in Paris there are approximately two rats for every Parisian. And in the Tuileries gardens next to the Louvre, the furry vermin have become so used to humans, they don't even hide." (Via France 24)
So, that's a lot of rats. How did they all get there?
It seems people are pointing their fingers towards tourists as the party responsible for the problem. The Guardian spoke with a local gardener, who said:
"The tourists throw their scraps of pizza and sandwiches all over the place." (Via The Guardian)
Although The Local reports rats in public gardens have been an issue in the past, too.
"For some tourists the rats are all part of the Parisian experience, thanks to Disney animation Ratatouille."
The movie is about a rat in Paris who aspires to become a chef. Though that rat is a lot cuter than real rats. (Via Buena Vista Pictures / "Ratatouille")
There seems to be a slight variation in how the story is being portrayed. American outlets seem to be using the word "infestation" in its headlines. (Via Mashable, The Atlantic)
"They are having problems with a major infestation of them." (Via ABC)
But headlines from overseas were a bit more generous. While the word "infestation" may be used in those articles, the headlines say things like "rampage" and "overrun." Although we would say "plague" is a bit dramatic. (Via France 24, The Guardian, The Telegraph)
The Louvre says pesticides are used regularly, and officials have brought in outside help. The story picked up steam after a photographer took pictures of the rats.