Hundreds of kilograms of cannabis seized from drug dealers and stored in police warehouses have been seized by rats in northern India.
A court in the city of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh said rats are small animals and they aren't afraid of the police, after hearing that local police were unable to provide nearly 200 kilograms of confiscated cannabis that was supposed to be used as evidence in a recent case.
The court documents said that the police had been asked to provide 386 kilograms of cannabis, but the prosecution noted to the court that more than 700 kilograms of marijuana stored in various stations across Mathura could be impacted by the rat infestation.
This was allegedly not the first time that the rats had struck. The judge hearing the case cited Mathura police as blaming the rodents for destroying 500 kilograms of cannabis that had been seized in various cases and stored at the city s Shergarh and Highway Police Station.
The court then laid down guidelines for the police to auction or dispose of the cannabis.
There is a rat menace in almost all police stations. The court document said that necessary arrangements have to be made to safeguard the cannabis that has been confiscated.
Accounts regarding the exact sequence of events that followed the rats alleged consumption of the cannabis appear hazy.
After the court case, Mathura City Police Superintendent Martand Prakash Singh told CNN that the cannabis had been destroyed by rains and flooding and not by rats.
The police reported that the seized cannabis was destroyed in the rains and flooding, but there was no reference to rats in the report submitted to the court.
If the rats are guilty as charged, they might be taking things easy. In 2016 a study by the University of British Columbia found the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana made lab rats lazy.
The researchers trained 29 rats to perform an experiment in which the rodents had to choose between a simple or more difficult task to earn treats.
The rats usually chose harder and more rewarding tasks, but the same rats chose to do the easier task after being given marijuana.