Giant rats as big as cats have killed and eaten two babies in separate attacks in South Africa's run-down townships on the same day last week, according to Mail Online, an UK based media.
The deaths are believed to be caused by deadly rat attacks in two different locations in the nation.
An infant girl was killed in Soweto township near Johannesburg and three-year-old Lunathi Dwadwa was killed in the Khayelitsha slum outside Cape Town.
The infant girl was found dead after being attacked by rats while her high-school teenage mother was out with friends.
The giant rats left gruesome rat bites after chewing off the right side of the baby’s face.
The local police have arrested the young mother on charges of culpable homicide and negligence. She is now released on bail.
On Sunday night Lunathi was found dead as she was sleeping in her parent's makeshift bed. The parents did not even hear their young daughter’s scream when the giant rats were supposedly attacking her.
Only after the little one died, they came to realize what had happened. Baffled parents conclude that it must have been done by rats and commented: “I can't forget how ugly my child looked after her eyes were ripped out. She was eaten from her eyebrows to her cheeks, her other eye was hanging by a piece of flesh,” Mail Online cited Lunathi's parents as saying.
African Giant Pouched Rats, the alleged suspects in the baby attacks, are native to sub-Saharan Africa and the biggest of all rats in the world. Adults can grow up to three feet long and produce up to 50 young a year. They thrive in the filthy conditions just like any other rats.
Occasionally, these rats are trained to detect explosives, such as mines, as their acute smell sense is quite effective to such a hazardous task. However, its sharp front teeth, which grow over an inch long, may end humans' lives.