New York tiktoker Kenny Bollwerk, who gained popularity by broadcasting videos about the everyday life of rats in the metropolis, has gained such a large fan base that he offers tours of the most rat-infested areas of the city, the Canadian portal CBC reported.
Walking tours of New York’s rodent hotspots are popular.
“I think people are hungry for new experiences. There are so many things they’ve already done. They’ve already seen the Empire State Building. They’ve already seen Central Park. They want to see something different,” he told CBC reporters.
Bollwerk, who moved to New York from Missouri, was surprised by the number of rats: The rodents “ran to places where there were garbage bags on the sidewalk. The bags were moving. But not by gusts of wind. It’s the rats inside. It looked like the heart contracting and the heart contracting.”
“There seems to be a strange fascination with rats these days,” he told reporters.
“On my trips over the years, people have always been intrigued and asked questions about rats in New York. But when a video I made of a rat dragging a slice of pizza down the subway stairs went viral, I started getting requests from people wanting to see the rats,” he said.
The authorities of New York are trying to make the metropolis get rid of its reputation as a rat paradise. Last year, after twice as many residents filed rodent complaints, the city hired a “rat hunter.” In the summer, the mayor’s office estimated that 15 percent. fewer rats appeared on the streets, the Guardian reported.
It is not known how many rats live in New York. Estimates range from 3 million to as high as 8.5 million. They are favored by climate warming and the city’s policy, according to which garbage is put on the streets in plastic bags.
The city authorities did not comment on the phenomenon of “rat tourism”. (PAP)