UK & World News
Death Threats For Man Who Killed 'Giant Rat'
A grandfather who caught and killed a 'giant rat', has said he has been getting death threats from animal rights activists.
Brian Watson, from County Durham, says people have called him a murderer since he spoke on television about clubbing the large rodent with a piece of wood.
In an interview with Sky Tyne and Wear in April, he showed a photograph of the dead animal, which was so big some observers have said it was a coypu, also known as a river rat.
Mr Watson said: "Since my last interview we've had quite a few phone calls and letters off cranks saying I'm a murderer, that it should be me that's clubbed to death because they're saying it's a coypu.
"I know the difference between a rat and a coypu, because I've lived in the country most of my life and it's vermin, and vermin should be destroyed.
"Rats carry diseases, that's why they get killed, so you crankers out there, don't waste my time and don't waste your own time," he added.
Mr Watson said at the time that the rat was so big it may have been pregnant.
He had left it on the side of a river for several days, but decided to destroy the rodent in a fire as word of its size spread.
"People saying I'm a murderer, that I kill wildlife, I love wildlife. I've got wild ducks that come onto the lake a breed, at the moment I've got moorhens, I've got fish in the lakes and pheasants nesting at the minute," he added.
"I like wildlife, I just do not like vermin."