Mice dropped on Guam to rid the island of the poisonous and invasive brown tree snakes sounds like a plan straight out of Wiley. E. Coyote’s ACME manual. Nope – actually it’s the brainchild of the U.S. government, who recently air-dropped the dead rodents, stuffed with Tylenol, using tiny little parachutes, reports CNBC on Dec. 2.
Approximately 2,000 of the toxic mice were dropped on Guam to control an overpopulation of the deadly snakes. Each mouse had about 80 milligrams of acetaminophen, poisonous to the snakes.
The cost? A cool $8 million.
Officials in Guam say the cost is worth paying for however, as island residents are constantly battling the nearly two million brown tree snakes that infest the country. Although no humans have been killed, the island’s ecosystem has been negatively impacted as multiple species have become extinct because of the snakes.
Damage by the snakes to Guam’s Power Authority is also a severe problem. Power officials have placed multiple traps along substation fences, and estimate they have caught and killed over 8,000 snakes every year. Still, the snakes make their way into the station and cause havoc.
“The process is quite simple,” Dan Vice, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official, told KUAM. “The helicopter is going to make low altitude flights over the forest at relatively slow speeds they’re going to be certified pesticide applicators inside the helicopter delivering the baits out of the helicopter on a time sequence.”
The snake-and-mouse game is being spearheaded by U.S. Air Force servicemen and women at the Anderson Air Force Base, a military outpost in the U.S. Territory of Guam.