A mum has called for a rat ‘infestation’ at an Ottery park to be tackled after her young daughter fell and broke her arm fleeing the rodents.
The family’s afternoon enjoying the sunshine at the Land of Canaan ended in A&E when their fun was gate-crashed by a pack of long-tailed furry vermin.
Pest control has now been called in to assess how bad the problem is – but says it has only received a single report.
The mum, who does not wish to be named, was making the most of the fine weather at the green space with her children and a friend this week.
She told East Devon News.co.uk: “I was sat in the middle of the grass area with my friend’s four-month-old baby laid on a blanket watching the children in the park, when I saw something run beside me – it was a huge rat.
“I grabbed the baby and ran as the rat was not moving.
“As I walked away towards the path, I saw another under the bench – then another run to the river.
“I looked around to the bush to see about eight different-sized rats there.
“They were not afraid to come out. My daughter came to see what I screamed at and, as she ran in panic, took a tumble and broke her arm.”
The eight-year-old girl was taken straight to hospital where X-rays revealed she had broken the radius bone in her right arm.
“I’ve never seen anything like it in such a local area,” said the mum.
“Obviously, you get the odd one you’ll see in places, but this was something else.”
“It needs dealing with properly.
“I’ve not returned back to the park yet, as it’s made my skin crawl. I felt so on edge, so am leaving it a while to let them clean up and do something about it.”
An East Devon District Council (EDDC) spokeswoman said: “We have received a call about a single rat sighting in the Land of Canaan area and our new pest control technician has been on site today looking for evidence of activity.
“If this is found we will commence a treatment and continue until we are satisfied that there are no further issues.
“The treatments we use are in secure bait stations in case of contact with non-target species.”
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