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Mice will Parachute into Guam to Help Eradicate Brown Snakes

King Brown Snake
Getty Images, photo by Ian Waldie

The country of Guam is having a big problem with brown tree snakes causing most  birds native to Guam to become extinct. The brown snake population is estimated at 2 million and even though Hawaii is 3,000 miles away, they have long feared an invasion of brown snakes.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Service, Guam and the Pacific Islands have a way they believe will curb the population, they’re dropping dead mice laced with painkillers into the jungles of Guam. 

The first drop of mice is set for the area around Andersen Air Force Base, which is surrounded by thick jungle. Scientist have been working on the mice-drop solution for a decade taking advantage of the snakes’ two weaknesses; they will eat prey they didn’t kill and acetaminophen, a key ingredient in aspirin, is deadly to them. Each mouse will be dropped on-by-one, by hand, with a streamer-looking device attached to them so they won’t fall all the way to the ground, but get caught in the trees where the snakes are. The mouse drop will begin in April or May and the goal is not to eradicate, but to control.

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