It was as big as a cat - pest control officer Terry Walker said it was the largest rat he has seen in twenty years.
His find has led to fears of a 'winter invasion' by poison-resistant super rats.
The rat was trapped in up-market Sandbanks in Dorset, but other super-specimens have been seen in built-up areas around Poole High Street.
Richard Slee reports:
Interviewees: Terry Walker, Pest Controller Iain Turner, National Pest Technician Association