Benny the Bull pays touching tribute to Chicago ‘rat hole'

Benny the Bull pays touching tribute to Chicago ‘rat hole' originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Locals were outraged Friday morning to learn that the city's historic Chicago "rat hole," appeared to have been filled in with a concrete-like material.

The rat-shaped sidewalk imprint, which had existed for at least 20 years in Chicago's North Side, became a viral sensation and tourist attraction for those near and far from the city, including beloved NBA mascot Benny the Bull.

Benny made the pilgrimage to the 1900 block of West Roscoe Street Thursday to pay tribute to the hole, leaving a shrine of fresh popcorn and rodent-sized Bulls jersey as an offering.

NBC Sports' Alex Shapiro spoke to local residents on Friday from the sidewalk.

"As a Chicagoan, I feel the preservation of history is important," Jonathan Howell said. "It has a plaque, so, you gotta dig it out."

Howell, who lives in Lakeview, added that the cement was "still wet."

"Someone did this," Howell said. "Some vandal did this."

Reese Klemm and Lucy Boemmel, who live in Lakeview were equally shocked after making the pilgrimage from Lakeview.

"I just don't understand why everyone's trying to block our good time," Klemm said. "All I wanted to do was leave a cute little quarter in respect of the rat hole, and now we have to dig it out with a license plate. That's not right. That's not right at all."

Illinois State Rep. Ann Williams, who represents the neighborhood where the rat hole is located, said that her office was "shocked and saddened" by the development.

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