Brazen rats at a Co Antrim park are so unafraid they are approaching people in search of food, it has been claimed.
A concerned Ballymoney woman said six rodents came within feet of her young family as they fed ducks in the town's Riverside Park this week.
The park — in the centre of the town — is a popular attraction for walkers, anglers and families.
So disgusted by the experience, the woman — who did not want to be named — vowed not to return to the council-owned park until the rodent problem is tackled.
“We would go to the Riverside Park quite often and this isn’t the first time I’ve seen rats,” she said. “Something needs to be done.
“This is supposed to be a place for local people to go and families to use.”
Proposals are currently being considered by Ballymoney Borough Council regarding an extensive revamp and clean-up of the park to the tune of tens of thousands of pounds but it is not yet known when the work will begin. A spokesperson for the council said it had received no complaints about rats at Riverside Park.
The spokesperson said if a problem was highlighted action would be taken to address it with the necessary pest control procedures put into force.
Independent Ballymoney councillor Roma McAfee appealed for anyone who comes across rodents in the area to contact the council.
“I was deeply concerned to hear that rats were running freely around an area where children play regularly,” she said. “I would encourage anyone who does see rats in the area or even anywhere else to get in contact with the council’s environmental health department immediately.”