Friday, October 1, 2010

Navy Bombs Guam With Dead Frozen Mice

The target are none-native snakes that are threatening the indigenous animals. The lace the mice with acetaminophen, something found to be deadly only to the snakes, and then drop them from helicopters like tiny poison mice bombs; minus the explosion.

"In a ploy to rid Guam of its population of invasive brown tree snakes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is bombing the island with drugged frozen mice, military news outlet Stars and Stripes reported.

Using Naval Base Guam as a starting point, scientists drop mice packed with acetaminophen from helicopters into the jungle canopy.

The drug -- commonly found in Tylenol -- provided a regulatory advantage because it had already undergone extensive testing, Dan Vice, assistant state director of USDA Wildlife Services in Hawaii, Guam and the Pacific Islands, told Stars and Stripes.
“The discovery that snakes will die when they eat acetaminophen was a huge step forward,” Anne Brooke, conservation resources program manager for Naval Facilities Command Marianas told Stars and Stripes. “The problem was how you get the snakes to eat it.”

The solution was to drop the mice into the snakes’ natural habitat, the branches of trees in the jungles of Guam. By outfitting the mice with cardboard wings and green party streams, the bait could float down to the jungle and catch on the branches. The result is a hanging, deadly snack for the snakes.

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