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View Full Version : Florida tries to wipe out cat-sized African rats



megimoo
06-24-2009, 10:44 PM
GRASSY KEY, Florida (Reuters) - Deep in the heart of the Florida Keys, wildlife officials are laying bait laced with poison to try to wipe out a colony of enormous African rats that could threaten crops and other animals.

U.S. federal and state officials are beginning the final phase of a two-year project to eradicate the Gambian pouched rats, which can grow to the size of a cat and began reproducing in the remote area about eight years ago.

"This is the only place in the United States where this is occurring," said Gary Witmer, a biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.

"They don't belong here and they need to be controlled."

A former exotic pet breeder, living in a small house, bred the species and allowed the critters to escape.

Without eradication, wildlife officials fear the rats could eventually make their way onto the Florida mainland where they could quickly destroy fragile ecosystems.

"They could cause a lot of damage," Witmer said.

In Zimbabwe, for example, ravenous Gambian rats are blamed for damaging nut and young pea crops.



http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN2430572020070524

Rockntractor
06-24-2009, 10:50 PM
A little barbeque sauce. some new potatos.
http://www.iguanainvasion.com/oea5.JPG

megimoo
06-24-2009, 11:33 PM
A little barbeque sauce. some new potatos.
http://www.iguanainvasion.com/oea5.JPGThat thing looks more like a little hog around the mouth than a rat .Them baby back ribs are sure getting smaller these days !

Teetop
06-24-2009, 11:55 PM
A little barbeque sauce. some new potatos.
http://www.iguanainvasion.com/oea5.JPG

Leave it to an okie.... :D

Teetop
06-24-2009, 11:57 PM
That thing looks more like a little hog around the mouth than a rat .Them baby back ribs are sure getting smaller these days !

But tha tail's getting bigger! ;)

linda22003
06-25-2009, 08:07 AM
This is why I'd never live in Florida. All of the vermin is at least twice the size it should be.

Shannon
06-25-2009, 08:29 AM
This is why I'd never live in Florida. All of the vermin is at least twice the size it should be.

That's why you would never live here? That's way down on my list of reasons to leave.

linda22003
06-25-2009, 08:30 AM
Number one is the heat. Number two is the humidity.

noonwitch
06-25-2009, 08:38 AM
Number one is the heat. Number two is the humidity.


#3 has to be all the senior citizens with driver's licenses.

Shannon
06-25-2009, 08:46 AM
#3 has to be all the senior citizens with driver's licenses.

They tend to all live in the same areas. We all know where they are and do our best to avoid them.

I can't even imagine how great my hair would look living somewhere else.:p

noonwitch
06-25-2009, 08:50 AM
They tend to all live in the same areas. We all know where they are and do our best to avoid them.

I can't even imagine how great my hair would look living somewhere else.:p


Those are the only parts of Florida I've really seen, because that's where my dad lives. I visited him when he lived in Engelwood, now he lives in Rotunda West. I was shocked that there was actually a high school in the area!

Gingersnap
06-25-2009, 09:34 AM
What they need are 5 or 6 hungry Jack Russell terriers. Problem solved.

Defiant1
06-25-2009, 10:59 AM
Those are the only parts of Florida I've really seen, because that's where my dad lives. I visited him when he lived in Engelwood, now he lives in Rotunda West. I was shocked that there was actually a high school in the area!

I live very close to Rotonda (notice the spelling) West.

There are 3 high schools in the county and the school system is quite good.

Is your dad a republican? I may know him.

Speedy
06-25-2009, 12:56 PM
What they need are 5 or 6 hungry Jack Russell terriers. Problem solved.

When Yvette kicked me out of the house on Jan. 1st, I moved back to Sonora. I also inherited two dogs, My dad's 80 pound Catahoula Leopard Dog (my dad died in April 2000), Kato and my son in law's Jack Russell/Chihuahua mix (Jessie died in August 2007) Max.

The other day both dogs were raising one hell of a ruckus in one of my sheds. Kato on occassion would run to the house and knock on the patio door. I don"t know who taught him how to do this, but when something goes wrong outside, like coyotes getting in the yard or he finds his food bowl is empty he will knock on the door like the police with a warrant.

I go to see what is happening and take the old .45 with me. The dogs have something cornered in there behind one of my planers so I move it out of the way. Kato slaps something out from under the shelves and Max takes it, wriggling and hissing outside. It was a possum. A bit bigger than Max.

noonwitch
06-25-2009, 01:53 PM
I live very close to Rotonda (notice the spelling) West.

There are 3 high schools in the county and the school system is quite good.

Is your dad a republican? I may know him.

There's a Rotunda Drive in Dearborn, so I just mixed them up in my head. My dad is a swing voter and is not allied with any party. He is a vet who occasionally goes to Bay Pines for treatment of his post-polio syndrome. He also does volunteer work as a mentor for people starting small businesses (a program we need in Michigan). He also volunteers after every hurricane in assisting people in filling out their FEMA forms.