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Never since the times of the Pied Piper of Hamelin were rats so dangerous. Only this time the menace is far greater. Thousands of hectares of China's major rice and cotton belt in Hunan province have been invaded by rats. The massive influx was caused by the rising water level in the Dongting freshwater lake, the country's second largest. This is China's worst rat crisis in a decade.

"A great number of field rats which lived on the islets of Dongting Lake migrated to the farmland due to the rising water level