Parents in California are pretty angry after some images were published showing rodents running free at playgrounds where their children go to play.
Jacob Ortega and his brother were chasing a white rat on Sunday afternoon at one of the playgrounds in downtown San Francisco.
“We just saw a big white rat there came out twice to look at us, about eight inches long, white, like albino white, and you know pink nose,” said resident Chad Avellai.
But that white rat was certainly not the only one roaming the park. Security cameras installed on the grounds managed to capture other rats hours later that same day.
Specifically, two rats of considerable size were seen under the benches on Sunday night. In addition, they were also spotted on Friday, where a rat could be seen scurrying under a slide where dozens of children slide down every day, before jumping into nearby bushes.
Doctors say it is very concerning: “Rats can transmit infectious diseases,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.
Dr. Chin-Hong does not believe it is necessary to stop taking children to the park because of rats, but he does ask parents for caution and offers a number of tips: “Number 1, wash your hands, instruct children not to touch their mouths with their hands after running around a possibly rat-infested area. Second, know the symptoms of certain rat-borne illnesses, such as fever, diarrhea or rashes.”
City workers say the bushes used to be cleared considerably more frequently than they are now.
Families who saw some of the rats on Sunday may find themselves looking for more of these rodents.
“A little disconcerting, especially for the kids,” said dad Javier Posadas. “Hopefully, they can maintain or find some sort of sanitary practices.”