Rat Bites School Student

Publish Date
Tuesday, 25 August 2015, 2:45PM

An Auckland school has had to warn its students about rodents in the area after a teenager was bitten when she picked up a dying rat.

The teenage girl, from Selwyn College, found the rat outside school grounds.

Her mother contacted the Herald after Saturday's story of a 9-year-old boy in Glen Innes who was bitten on the ear by a rat while he slept. The boy's mother said the area had been plagued with rodents for sometime.

The bitten college student is now on antibiotics after initially being treated by the school nurse.

Her mother said: "She was bitten as she kindly - but foolishly - tried to move the sick rat into the bushes."

Principal Sheryll Ofner confirmed the incident, but stressed that the rodent problem was not on the school grounds, but rather on neighbouring properties.

"In East Auckland, there's a massive rat problem. It's not a recent problem, it's existed for a number of years.

"We have next to Selwyn College a really large expansive [piece] of land which is not populated and there's lots of rats right through that whole area," she said.

"For a number of years now, we've had to spend a lot of money managing the rats and we've got a lot of rat bait - not on school grounds - on the sides to keep the rats out."

Staff have told students not to touch rodents if they see them near school grounds.

Ms Ofner said she had raised the issue with the Auckland Council over the years and advised officials that the school, like other businesses in the area, was managing the problem itself.

Orakei Local Board chairwoman Desley Simpson said the incident showed more needed to be done to deal with rodent infestations.

"This must be absolutely awful for the student concerned.

"My message is that if you see a rat, you don't pick it up ... please ring the council and log the fact that they're there. Once we know that they're there, then we can do something about it."

Via NZ Herald