Can rats eat 500 kg of marijuana? That's a question a lot of people have been wondering since Mathura Police, rather infamously, claimed the same in court. The court was baffled too, just like you and me.
Shubham Singh, who works with a pest control company, tells dailyO:
Shubham has been working in research and training since 2013. He claims that not even 100 rats can consume that much cannabis in a few days!
What happened? It's worse than Ratatouille and is happening in real life. Uttar Pradesh's Mathura Police have blamed rats for 'eating' more than 581 kg of seized marijuana.
The marijuana, seized last month, was stored in warehouses of the Highway and Shergarh police stations, and was later to be produced in court.
The haul was worth Rs 60 lakh. Mathura Police told the court that it was all eaten by rats, and some of the remaining marijuana was destroyed by the officers.
However, Shubham also says, "I cannot totally deny the possibility that rats cannot eat 500 kg of weed; even though it can only happen in the rarest of rare conditions and is very highly unlikely."
Not the first time: In 2020, at the same Shergarh police station, cops arrested three men with 386 kg of weed hidden in a truck. During the hearing in court, the SHO of Shergarh police station told the court that 'rats consumed' the seized marijuana that was stored in the warehouse.
(maybe Shergarh police station should get pest control at the earliest)
However, Shergarh police station is not the first in India or abroad to claim that rats have 'eaten weed' or 'drank alcohol'.
Take a look:
What happened next? In total, eight police officers blamed the rats for eating 540 kg of weed. All of them were fired.
In dry Bihar, booze is only for rats: Bihar banned alcohol in 2016, and in the years since, police have conducted numerous raids and arrested thousands of people for drinking alcohol; and confiscated many foreign and Indian liquor bottles.
A similar incident occurred in 2018, in Kaimur district, Bihar, when police confiscated 200 beer cans with aluminium steel tops, and kept them in a store room.
According to Bhabhua sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Kumari Anupama Singh,
Why do rats chew through everything though? Shubham explains that rats have to keep on chewing because left on their own, a rat's incisor teeth would grow 4 inches in a year. So, rats must chew continuously to wear down their incisors (aren't you thankful now that rats don't come with elephant tusks?).
However, Singh adds that it is nearly impossible for rats to open a steel can or sip liquor from it; let alone empty it out!