A rodent debate is rat-tling on after another wildlife expert declared the critter photographed on a pink spade in Gravesend earlier this month was "100 per cent rat".

The photo shared by BBC Radio 2’s Twitter feed on April 15 appeared to show a mammoth, dead rodent on the beach but one expert thought it was a completely different animal.

Ben Johnson, who is director of Direct Pest Solution, based in Trosley Avenue, Gravesend, told News Shopper: "I don’t think it’s a rat, I believe it’s a coypu, a bit like a beaver."

However 53 per cent of News Shopper readers (120 people) believe it was definitely a rat, compared to 37 per cent (83 readers) who thought  it was a coypu and 10 per cent (23 people) who thought it was something else entirely.

Ashe Hurst, who is a Dartford-based freelance fishery manager and river keeper, told News Shopper: "I can assure you this is, in fact, 100 per cent rat.

"I have many years experience in this with 12 years of river keeping and wetland management. 

"Rats live along water ways, they swim a lot. They will eat vole, eggs, chicks in fact anything they can hunt and scavenge."