Rat problem? Or a people problem on the Cleveland Greenway? - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Rat problem? Or a people problem on the Cleveland Greenway?

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) - Some folks who use the Greenway walking path in Cleveland say they are fed up with rats. A number of rats have been spotted in one section of the Greenway, leaving some people a little squeamish.

The chairman of the Greenway board says they have not gotten any major complaints and says the board, along with the city, does its best to keep the Greenway clean.

With a name like 'Mouse Creek,' it may not be too surprising that people who walk beside the creek on the Cleveland Greenway have seen a rodent or two. But people have not seen tiny mice but rats.

"We see ducks and squirrels and rats," says Cathie Baum, with a laugh.

Baum walks the Greenway every day and says she has seen her fair share of rats and other wild life.

'I've only seen one, one or two times. But I've seen some river rats in the water? What do you call them? Muskrats?"

"I wouldn't want any rabid rat jumping at me," says Barbara Cahoon.

While the idea of seeing a rat does not sit well with Barbara Cahoon, she says overall, the Greenway is usually very clean.

"It's always really clean and kept. I really don't see a lot of garbage or anything, so I don't really think it's anything in particular that the people that are cleaning the Greenway are doing. It's obviously just probably a normal pest problem," says Cahoon.

"I've had a couple of occasions where a couple of rats have run out in front of me. I just take it as part of the territory," says Cameron Fisher.

Cameron Fisher has been chairman of the Greenway board for the past eight years. He says part of the problem stems from people throwing duck feed on the ground instead of in the water.

"If it attracts ducks, it's probably going to attract some other things too," says Fisher.

Others say it is most likely a people problem causing the rats.

"We have all the restaurants along the streets up here and then people throwing all their trash out of the cars up here on the road side. It would be a good place for a rat. If I was a rat I'd come up and get a free meal," says Greenway user J.D. Adams

"You see all kinds of things out here and that's the beauty of what this is," says Fisher.

"If you don't bother it, it won't bother you," says Baum.

Tax dollars fund most of the Greenway and Fisher says the Cleveland Parks and Rec helps with the upkeep of the property. He says if the rats get too bad, their next step is to sit down and figure out a possible solution to curb the rat population.  

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