Drugged commando mice parachute onto Guam to slaughter snakes

Snake_browntree

Now that was a fun headline to write. The visual alone makes it.

Alas, it’s totally true and a bit morbid. It’s estimated that 2 million brown tree snakes are on Guam. That’s roughly 13,000 snakes per square mile, a higher population density than even the Amazonian rainforest. And since they have no predators on Guam, and a veritable buffet of exotic native birds, they eat themselves silly and often balloon to over six feet in length. The biggest ever found was over nine feet.

And that’s just the creepy part. They also love to slither into electrical substations and knock out the power, costing Guam about $4 million per year in repair costs and lost productivity. Thankfully they are not particularly dangerous to humans. The snakes have a weak neurotoxic venom that won’t do much more than annoy an adult, though a bite can be potentially dangerous to children.

Well, it turns out these snakes will drop dead from just a tiny dose of acetaminophen. So, the government has dropped 2,000 poor, dead, Tylenol-laced mice onto the island in the hopes that the snakes will eat them, sending them to the big snake pit in the sky. This poison mouse drop was the fourth and largest such air raid since an $8 million plan to wipe out the snakes was approved in February.

[Via]

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