In 2013 the United States bombed the island of Guam with 2,000 dead mice stuffed with painkillers to kill the Brown Tree Snake which is an invasive species on the island. The snake got there by accident in the 1950s on a shipping vessel.

Two thousand mice dropped on Guam by parachute — to kill snakes

They floated down from the sky Sunday — 2,000 mice, wafting on tiny cardboard parachutes over Andersen Air Force Base in the U.S. territory of Guam.

But the rodent commandos didn’t know they were on a mission: to help eradicate the brown tree snake, an invasive species that has caused millions of dollars in wildlife and commercial losses since it arrived a few decades ago.

That’s because they were dead. And pumped full of painkillers.

The unlikely invasion was the fourth and biggest rodent air assault so far, part of an $8 million U.S. program approved in February to eradicate the snakes and save the exotic native birds that are their snack food.

“Every time there is a technique that is tested and shows promise, we jump on t… Continue Reading (3 minute read)

14 thoughts on “In 2013 the United States bombed the island of Guam with 2,000 dead mice stuffed with painkillers to kill the Brown Tree Snake which is an invasive species on the island. The snake got there by accident in the 1950s on a shipping vessel.”

  1. Gemmabeta

    Tldr: the snakes really like to eat mice and they are really susceptible to Tylenol (as little as 80 mg can kill one).

  2. YoureTheManNowCat

    Principal Skinner: Well, I was wrong. The lizards are a godsend.
    Lisa: But isn’t that a bit short-sighted? What happens when we’re overrun by lizards?
    Principal Skinner: No problem. We simply unleash wave after wave of Chinese needle snakes. They’ll wipe out the lizards.
    Lisa: But aren’t the snakes even worse?
    Principal Skinner: Yes, but we’re prepared for that. We’ve lined up a fabulous type of gorilla that thrives on snake meat.
    Lisa: Then we’re stuck with gorillas!
    Principal Skinner: No, that’s the beautiful part. When wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death!

  3. CarlMetzger

    I was stationed in Guam in 1994. I know they are not very venomous but just get in to everything and are killing off local wildlife. Pretty ingenious way to eradicate them.

  4. jwill602

    “USA bombed the island of Guam” really grabbed my attention lol. Not often a country bombs itself

  5. AudibleNod

    Where’s an Irish saint when you need one?

  6. sunnyvale_official

    Snakes on a Vessel just doesnt have the same ring to it.

  7. krukson

    Similar thing was done by Switzerland to get rid of rabies. In the 80s, tons of vaccinated chicken heads were dropped by helicopters all over the countryside, in the hope that foxes would eat those and get vaccinated themselves in the process.
    It worked. There have been hardly any rabies cases in animals in the country since then.

  8. tmntnyc

    I want to know whose job it was to insert pain killers into 2000 mice.

  9. NicholasFelix

    This is a interesting idea but the main flaw I’m seeing is that while there’s 2,000 baited mice being dropped, the number of snakes on Guam is 2,000,000. Unless there’s some sort of Jesus snake amongst them, it seems a little optimistic that one mouse will feed 1,000 snakes.

  10. space_audity

    I guess they really can build a better mouse trap.

  11. Ameinocles

    Sometimes you’ll see little heaps of white powder, on popular hiking trails in Guam. I assumed it’s a continuation of the experiment but without the mice.
    If it’s rat poison then that would be el maximo dumb.

  12. DeathsDesign72

    When they did this in 2013,it was the 4th time doing it. They did it again in 2018. So it works, kinda. Stem the population.

  13. Nopengnogain

    I thought “bombed” was used to convey the large quantity of mice, but they literally dropped them from the sky!

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