A farmer has made a somewhat terrifying find in a flooded field.
Alibulat Rasulov, a farmer in Stavropol region in southwestern Russia, posted two videos of his find on Instagram.
The field is seen covered in water. It is not exactly clear why.
But Mr Rasulov notices something trembling in the crops and finds five rats tangled together by their tails to a vine. He gently untangles them from the shrubs then carries them away. All appear to be alive.
He dubs the five “the rat king”, which is a term used for a group of rats found with their tails intertwined.
In fact, Otago Museum, in New Zealand, has a rat king in its collection made up of eight, tangled dead rats found in a shed in 1930.
A second video from the Russian field shows Mr Rasulov untangling the five rats and letting them free.
Kevin Rowe, a rat expert and the senior curator of mammals at the Museum Victoria in Australia, told Atlas Obscura in 2016, rodents tangled together do not often survive long.
“A ‘rat king’ would be a horrible ball of animal suffering; nothing about it evokes a sense of kingship,” he told the publication.
On Instagram, people felt for the rats too with many people thanking Mr Rasulov for showing them compassion.
“Applause for saving tiny lives,” one woman wrote.
Another woman said she “would scream” if she came into contact with them, while another called it a “nightmare”.
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