Parked cars around a southern city in China have been spotted sporting weird makeshift trappings wrapped around them, reportedly to protect the vehicles from rats.
According to the BBC, residents of the Guangxi capital of Nanning have been attaching “skirts” to their cars after the pesky rodents were discovered to be climbing inside the vehicles to stay warm and gnawing through car parts.
The rat-proof shields, dubbed by Chinese media as “car maxi skirts,” are made from a variety of materials, such as fabric, chicken wire or bamboo.
“There are many rats in this area,” a local man, Mr Zhao was quoted as saying. He told Nanning TV that the problem usually occurs during the cold season when the rats seek warm spots.
“Putting these around the cars is a good thing, and it can also prevent small children from scratching them,” he added.
Some of the “skirts”, however, proved to be no match to some persistent rats. One car owner revealed that her rat-proofing failed to stop a rodent from gnawing through the shield.
“Can’t you see? The rats have nibbled a hole through it,” she told a local reporter.
After the story went viral, Chinese netizens expressed their amusement over the “gnawing” problem. A NetEase user commented: “I like this elevated Guangxi humour.”
“Are they preparing against a large-scale rodent invasion?” another user asked.
Another one offered a somewhat practical solution: “They can raise a number of cats, we have a few strays on our estate, the rats don’t dare come out.”