We all know that New York's rats enjoy the occasional slice of pizza, though the snack can leave some image-conscious rodents feeling bloated and regretful. But we have good news! It turns out one Brooklyn rat has found a low-carb alternative: pigeon.

In this video filmed on a Williamsburg pavement last year, a rat (which we’ve decided to name “Vlad The Mutilator”) can be seen savagely taking down a pigeon that looks to be a class or two above his weight category. “You only see this in New York,” an onlooker claims off-screen. It’s true that this showdown is a uniquely urban one, and both species are well adapted city-dwellers that locals are only too familiar with.

"Vlad" is most likely a brown rat (Rattus norvegicus), a species that hails from northern China and can now be found in pretty much any urban environment in the world. A true omnivore, it will scoff down pretty much anything it can find (pigeons included), often rooting through garbage and scavenging discarded food items.

We've seen them taking over restaurants and taking on reporters, so Vlad’s pigeon kill is perhaps not all that surprising (although it’s possible that the bird was injured before the rat got to it).

The unfortunate pigeon is probably Columba livia domestica, a species that originally came from domestic birds that have returned to the wild and formed breeding populations. These pigeons are now abundant in cities and towns across the globe, where they're able to supplement their natural diet by scavenging for remnants of food dropped by humans.

Header image: Jean-Jacques Boujot