The bad omen was discovered in Tartu, Estonia, in a chicken coop and is one of 60 cases in close to 500 years. Johan Uibopuu, discovered 13 rats clumped together among his mother’s chickens. Recounting the gruesome tale, Mr Uibopuu said his mother had made the discovery and had phoned her son.
Such was the rarety in the sight, he revealed his mother had been “quite upset” after seeing the pack of rats.
Mr Uibopuu said: “I was making the most of a quiet morning in Tartu when my mother phoned me, sounding quite upset.
“She had gone to feed the birds at the chicken coop when she saw a bundle of rats right at the entrance as she opened the door.
“When the shock wore off, she went to investigate and tried to remove them from her way, but they were firmly stuck to the ground.”
Although bad omens are attached to the phenomenon, rat kings are sentenced to death.
The specimen will now be taken to be displayed at the Natural History Museum of Tartu.
Dr Andrei Miljutin from the museum, said: “Rats within the rat king are sentenced to death.
“Even if they manage to escape from the narrow burrow, they can’t move around normally, can’t move to find food, and are completely unprotected.
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“Besides, what would we do after amputation?
“Rats can’t survive in Estonia under natural conditions and nobody wants these pest animals in their house.
“On the contrary – people regularly kill rats with poison and traps.
“These animals can’t be kept in an ordinary cage as a pet and usually never become tame.”
The pair also concluded the rats had dug a tunnel leading to the chicken coop.