NEW YORK — After a string of violent incidents, New York City has hired the world’s only rat whisperer.
City officials made the announcement after a disturbing video of a man attempting to stomp a rat to death surfaced on YouTube yesterday.
“Alexa Payne, also known as the rat whisperer, will begin on Monday. I can confirm that she has a three-month probationary contract to consult on rodent issues in the city. She will play an active role in the field and with our research team,” explained Thomas Choogin, a specialist with NYC Pest Control Services.
Payne is regarded as the world’s top rodent expert. She has drawn comparisons to Cesar Millan, host of the National Geographic Channel’s hit show “Dog Whisperer,” because of her calm approach to taming rats with especially aggressive behavior patterns.
“People have started taking actions that we can’t condone. We can’t have rat-killing dogs running around this city, and we can’t have people crushing rats to death with their own feet. It’s out of control. Alexa is our last hope for reining in the city’s rat population,” continued Choogin.
Choogin was referring to a video that shows a Jack Russell Terrier hunting rats in Greenwich Village’s Washington Square Park.
Payne also made a brief statement. “My goal is to help achieve balance between people and rats in NYC. I agree that the situation here is dire. The rats aren’t happy, and neither are the people.”
When asked if she had any tips for confronting an aggressive rat, Payne explained, “Stay calm and don’t take it personally. If you are in control of yourself, it slows the rat down and throws them off their game. Demand the rat’s respect by claiming your space. That energy will create a barrier. You can stop an aggressive rat by not moving and not being afraid. I do it all the time with large packs of rats.”
Footage of a homeless man being attacked by a rat in a subway car sparked the recent outrage over rats in the city. The Rat Attack story was originally covered by WWN’s Frank Lake.