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December 15, 2011

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Little mice scaring some subway riders big time

A local resident recalled her "horrible experience" on a subway train yesterday when a "black shadow" suddenly landed from the carriage's top and jumped swiftly onto a girl sitting in front of her as the whole carriage filled with screams.

"It's a mouse!"

Bobo Jing, the resident, said she saw the mouse in the Metro Line 1 train about 8:15am as the girl who was "assaulted" by the mouse jumped up from her seat and fled to another carriage, while the mouse escaped to the bottom of the seats.

It wasn't the first time the special "passenger" had been spotted in local subway trains. Residents have complained online of seeing mice on the Line 9 and Line 11 subway trains several times in November.

As the Metro doesn't ban passengers from eating and drinking in the carriages, some local residents believe it's the food remaining in the trains that has attracted the mice.

Meanwhile, officials with local pest-control companies are warning that as the days get colder, mice are more likely to settle down in tunnels underground to avoid the low temperatures outside. In response, Metro operators said they have hired professional anti-rodent workers to regularly check the subway tunnels and eliminate mice late at night when the subway services end.

"Workers are dispatched to eliminate mice in tunnels all year, and the anti-rodent work is carried out more frequently in spring, which is the mating season for mice," said an operator surnamed Lan.

"But it is quite difficult to eliminate all of them as we cannot change the habit of mice," he said.

Zhou Wenxuan, an experienced mouse killer with a local pest-control company, said, "Anti-rodent campaigns are much more difficult to be carried out in the subway tunnels than in factories, as the space is huge." He suggested Metro operators divide the tunnels into sections with workers searching for mouse nests in each section by placing bait to lure them out. But that requires lots of workers and time, he said.


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