MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Fridays are special days in Court Square, the historic downtown Memphis park. They bring out the food trucks on Fridays. The Downtown Memphis Commission hopes the food trucks will bring out the people who may want to celebrate the beginning of the weekend a little early.
What they didn’t know on this day is, just before the people showed up, the Shelby County Health Department had been there setting traps for the rats that live in the park. “We come out and assess the property to determine if there are signs of rat infestation,” says Dora Taylor of the Health Department. “We did find signs of a rat population.”
They found signs, but we found the rats: big bold rats that didn’t seem to be intimidated by city people. In fact, the people happen to be one reason rats love Court Square. “You have a lot of people who feed the birds,” Taylor says. “They do not properly put their garbage in a container. They do not properly clean up after their pets, because when we were out there today, we did see quite a bit of dog poop.”
Ok, she said poop, alright? Rats look at poop like we look at fried chicken. Yes, it’s disgusting, but news sometimes isn’t very pretty.
Anyway, nobody at the Downtown Memphis Commission was around to talk about the problem. They are in charge of Court Square. It was the Friday before Labor Day, so finding any official in government or government-related agencies is often impossible. The group has sponsored the Friday events and hopes to make them an event that will attract a lot of people. Not a lot of rats.
Dora Taylor at the health department says they’ll continue to monitor the rat population.