It’s been nearly three years since the now-infamous video of a rat dragging a slice of pizza down a set of subway stairs lit the internet on fire. That “pizza rat” became the subject of art installations and oodles of merchandise. It, at least temporarily, changed the perception of rodents in New York City. “Rats are just like us,” the collective echo chamber agreed. “They like pizza, and the subway is hard!”
But while New Yorkers were captivated by the pizza-loving fuzzball, its species only got stronger. We’ve seen rats haul away entire burritos and trash bags. We’ve read reports about their omnipresence in the five boroughs and have laid awake at night after hearing about the diseases they harbor. And this past Sunday, disturbing new footage surfaced of another rat dragging a whole slice of pizza along a stretch of subway tracks.
The video, filmed by a bystander named Michael Courant on Saturday, was taken on the southbound 6 train platform at the Lexington Avenue/59th Street station. The video lasts for more than 30 seconds and depicts the raw strength of New York City’s rat population (the slice of pizza is larger than the rat itself). And, unlike the 2015 rat, this one does not have the gravitational aid that comes with a set of stairs.
While the sight of the new pizza rat is certainly disturbing, New Yorkers can find some solace in the fact that the city has launched an initiative to kill as many of the vermin as possible. Last summer, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $32 million plan to suffocate them with dry ice. In April, his office shared a video of what that process looks like, with De Blasio smiling like a madman while crews brutally murdered a colony of rats.