Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Guam- Brown Snake Invasion repelled

The dreaded Brown Snake
Here on Guam they have a major brown snake problem.  We have been told a brown snake snuck on a plane in Vietnam and jumped off when it landed in Guam.  These tree snakes have multiplied since then and killed all the birds on the island.  Evidently there are thousands of them.  They killed all the birds, caused numerous power outages from crawling into transformers and invaded lots of homes.

This guy caught a bunch
They are poisons and have fangs at the back of their mouth.  Because of this they can not get a full dose of venom in adults and they say the bites are not fatal.  For children it apparently is more of  a risk.  They are nocturnal and can grow up to 10 ft long.

They have set up traps all over the place to catch them.  They catch and kill as many as they can to protect the birds and children.  I did see a few birds, but I must admit it's weird to wake up in the morning and not hear any birds singing.

They must be making progress, because we did saw several birds and have not seen a brown snake yet.  We only met 1 person who had seen a brown snake and that was years ago.  They have specially trained dogs that go through all ship cargo and places to make sure the snakes are not sneaking on and trying to hitch a ride.  They have no predators here so all they do is eat and reproduce.

The traps are small wire cages with a live mouse in them.  They have food and water for the mouse and he is just walking around in the cage like its a normal life.  The warning sign on the top keeps him dry and in Guam he doesn't have to worry about the cold.  I felt kinda sorry for the mouse.

Here is the trap
His job is to attract the snake into the cage.  Once in he can't get the mouse or get out of the cage and that mouse has to sit there with that snake who is now mad and hungry.  So I guess it's an ok life for the mouse but I'm sure he gets stressed out from time to time.  I doubt he realizes the snake can not get him.
This is the mouse inside

Don't worry they can't live in the cold so if one gets in our bag it will not survive our Missouri winter.     

By Rod Jetton

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