Friday, March 14, 2008

Rat gnaws stash

An Ethiopian farmer who stashed his life savings of more than 12,000 dollars in a haystack has lost almost one-third of the deposit to rats who gnawed it away, state media said Thursday. The 52-year-old farmer from central Ethiopia, whose name was not given, preferred the straw pile for fear of losing his riches in case fire broke out in his house.

"Some 35,000 (3,804 dollars) of the 114,000 birr (12,391 dollars) which was hidden by a farmer in hay near his house ... was devoured by rats," the Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) reported.

ENA said the man, who spurned repeated advice to use a bank instead, found out three weeks after he deposited the cash that he had lost part of it to the stealthy vermins.

"Though he was advised to deposit his money in a bank, he refused to do so for a long time," ENA added.

The agency did not say whether the farmer had changed "banks" after the rat raid.

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