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Drug Filled Mice Rigged with Radio Transmitters Air Dropped Over Guam to Kill Snakes

I watch ‘Saturday Night Live‘ on a regular basis and especially the ‘Weekend Update‘ portion with Seth Meyers. Normally I don’t use this for real news updates, but this weekends episode wrapped up with a joke about planes air-dropping drug filled mice to kill tree snakes.

Parachute Mouse
Flickr, Joshua Rappeneker

I had to look it up to see if it was real, and sure enough…the U.S. Government is funding this wild project in an effort to kill the invasive Brown Tree Snake on the island of Guam.

Thumb sized, dead mice are filled with about 80 milligrams of concentrated acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and the equivalent to a child’s dose, and are then used as bait for brown tree snakes. When the acetaminophen filled mice are ingested by the snakes, after about 60 hours, they die. The technique is not a new idea and has been in development since 1995 by researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services.

The above portion is idea on how to actually kill the snakes, but to keep the already dead mice from landing on the jungle floor and being eaten by other animals, the mice are attached to “flotation devices” that each consist of two pieces of cardboard joined by a 4-foot-long paper streamer. Yeah…cardboard and paper streamers. Very scientific. Some of the mice are even rigged up with radio transmitters to ensure the  efficiency of the bait.

Air dropping drug laced rodents has been proven effective, but scientists and researchers say this method will only control the island’s snake population, not eradicate it entirely. USDA researchers hope to create a more effective, non-biological substitute for the dead mouse bait, something that the snakes will eat but that won’t rot or attract flies, ants, and maggots in the jungle.

Now…scientists…can we find something to air drop over the Jersey Shore to eradicate those Oompa Loompa looking, fist pumping degenerates?

[Via National Geographic]

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