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back to article US parkies in 'burrow-buster' marmot detonation campaign

Senior parkies in the American city of Spokane are facing a barrage of criticism over their decision to exterminate troublesome tree-noshing squirrels by blowing up their burrows using fuel-air "bunker buster" type explosives. It seems that Spokane's Finch Arboretum, well thought of among park aficionados, faces an escalating …

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Watching too many 80s Movies

Is it just me, or does it sound like they may have been watching Caddyshack after a late night session and had a "great" idea at the end?

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Alt soln

Perhaps they could introduce some predators instead?

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Happy

Let me be the first..

To point out that the guys at WierdUniverse.net already made the Caddyshack reference when they linked to this article on Tuesday 14th:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/42916587.html

Carl Spackler lives indeed!

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Why not reduce the human population?

The squirrels would normally be managed by other wildlife who are not allowed in the park. Get all the humans out, and let the area go natural. Nature knows what to do, unlike the mutant idiots who call themselves human.

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Alert

Caddyshack?

Is it just me, or do I faintly recall something like this used in Caddyshack to devastating consequences, but not to the gophers.

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Happy

Their case would have more credibility

If they hadn't made a video with a jolly lite-entertainment backing track, and the sounds of the rangers cackling with glee.

Basically, I think they are enjoying it too much.

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Does it work for rabbits too?

It seems to me that flaming explosive instadeath is probably one of the most humane ways of killing these little guys. Certainly faster than gas or disease and less bitey than predators. Seems like a pretty good solution.

And it involves explosions. Not as awesome as a fly-killing laser, but still a generally good idea.

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time for war

get some mink in, they will butcher the cute cuddly squirrels for fun

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language

On this side of the pond, we'd call them ground hogs or woodchucks. They can be naughty little critters and very industrious.

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Nuke em!

Forget the Air fuel explosive go straight to the ultimate rodenterminator.

Efros

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Happy

re Alt soln

About 100 rattle snakes should do it.

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Reminds me of the time...

when they tried to blow up that whale.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVe4qHGNTO4

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Do they

Do they taste like chicken?

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To quote the squirrel hugger...

"That borders on cruelty,"

But only *borders* on cruelty, so perfectly OK then!

Would sending terriers into the burrows to get the wee beasties be just over the border?

How about laying itching powder down around the burrow entrances?

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Think of it as pre-cooked roadkill.

"were willing to ethnically cleanse them""

Ethically"...

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That borders on cruelty

Yes, borders on. It ISN'T cruel to give the pesky little varmints exactly what they need the most.

Flames.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Mink?

A plan with no drawbacks!

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Re: coozoe

> Get all the humans out, and let the area go natural

Don't know what particular lab you were grown in coozoe but this particular human is 100% natural thanks very much!

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HA HA HA HA!

Thank you El Reg, this read made my day.

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Black Helicopters

Nuke the site from orbit.

It's the only way to be sure.

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not mink please...

Don't even think about releasing mink to control anything. They will prey on everything. Birds, shrews, frogs, neighbours' pet rabbits etc will be eradicated in a couple of seasons. And controlling mink when they can decamp to people's gardens is in a whole different league from sorting out a few hundred instances of Chip'n Dale.

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Inhumane?

I guess they could use ferrets or terriers, assuming these critters are rabbit-sized. If I were a marmot I think I'd prefer being blown up suddenly without warning, to being torn to bits in a "natural" manner by a flesh-eating predator.

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Boffin

"A plan with no drawbacks!"

Heh...

Only small drawbacks surely... I mean, when the Mink population gets out of hand we just need to release some... erm, what preys on Mink? Lions? Yes! We release a whole death squad of Lions into the park and surrounding environs.

As the Cold War taught us, the best way to solve any problem is simply uncontrolled escalation.

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Boffin

Better the Rodenator than bubonic plague

Western America is awash in burrowing rodents. Rangers and farmers don't like them because of their burrowing propensities, and in the good old days, would transport sick and ailing animals from one colony to another as a form of biological warfare. The disease was often bubonic plague, which is now endemic the world over wherever you have a population of burrowing rodents. (The original site of bubonic plague was in the eastern Himalaya, whence it was carried to the steppes of northern Eurasia by returning military expeditions of the Mongols and spread therefrom via burrowing rodents.)

When you read of an animal population suddenly exploding as the one in Spokane is, you can conclude that the normal ecological checks and balances have been upset. I can't say if the arboretum offers some specially congenial features to these squirrels, or if it's because the same goddamn farmers and ranchers have eradicated the squirrels' natural predators: avian raptors and assorted carnivores.

An outburst of squirrels in a normal woodland is no great shakes: one tree is much like another. But in an arboretum where each and every tree is a valued specimen, the depredations of these critters can cause intolerable damage.

Wikipedia has a good, though short, article on Ground Squirrels, for those interested in adorning their vocabularies with some fancy new words. Sciurid pie, anyone?

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@Sarah

I'd prefer Stoats, they have a made hypnotic dance for killing bunnies. Might work for ground squirrels.

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@ Evil Graham

"Basically, I think they are enjoying it too much."

Reminds me of a line from either futurama or the simpsons:

"If it's fun it's not environmentalism"

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Happy

Marmot and Toast

Well you either love them or hate them.

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Mink?

Yeah, let's rather get some mink in there to tear the squirrels apart limb from limb and eat them alive - it's *so* so much kinder and gentler than the instantaneous death-by-concussion technique that is currently being used.

Not.

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It could be worse.

I suppose it's a bit safer than hiring these people to "manage" the problem...

http://www.dogbegone.com/

Flames, because there is no troll icon.

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Dangerous if not done correctly

Some guys in Canada started a huge grass fire with propane and oxygen trying to eliminate varmints like at the end of Caddyshack.

http://wcco.com/video/?id=39769@wcco.dayport.com

Propane, Oxygen and an ignition source, what could go wrong?

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@ Evil Graham

Actually it looks like some form of Extreme Fart-Lighting. Where are the startled rodents being summarily expelled from their burrows at rocket speed, straight into orbit?

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Bassey is a bit gassey

Bassey - You mean you were evolved with no chemicals, medicines, or education? You have lived off the land then. How did you get a computer, Mr. Natural?

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Rodentinator

WANT ONE, I have a slight problem with grey squirrels killing nursery plants, however I have since added a lurcher to the canine population of our land and the squirrel problem is much reduced, as a bonus some days I don't even have to feed the hounds

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That reminds me...

I've bought Caddyshack on DVD a while ago. Think I'll watch it tonight...

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Boffin

So this is how WW III starts

History will record that it all began on the fateful day when the squirrel-lovers squared off against the tree-huggers. Throw in a few crazy Islamists and Neville Chamberlain waving a piece of paper and you've got yourself the makings of a future History Channel documentary.

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Linux

Rodents must die!

I lived out west for awhile, and I assure you, these pesky varmints are nothing but trouble. About the size of a small Guinea pig, the tear up everything around them. We affectionately called them whistle pigs, as per the whistling noise they make ALL THE TIME. It was great fun to trap them in 2 1/2 piping that was waiting to be laid, stick an M-80 in one end and block it off. Instant rodent cannon!

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Anonymous Coward

Rodex 6000

It's a lot cheaper for these toys in the US (I'm trying to save up for the Rodex 6000 so i can have some fun!!!):

http://www.rodexindustries.com/action.html

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Go

Been there, done that...

In the last house, I suffered (a) regular mole incursions to my lawn (b) do-gooder neighbours, who had opinions that were not based on actually having to deal with the moles.

I tried all sorts of stuff including various "humane" solutions, most of which caused some moles to die of laughter, and the rest to move in on me.

What worked in the end: have you discovered rook scarers? Out in the countryside, us locals can still buy serious bangers intended to emulate a 12-bore shotgun sound. (You poor nannied townies of course can't be trusted with toy firecrackers on fireworks night.)

Find a mole run (a series of mole hills in a more-or-less straight line). Dig a mole trap (scissors-type preferably) into the middle one, observing precautions against tainting with human smell. Then dig into both end hills, put a rook scarer into the tunnel at each end, fire them off (cover your ears if you want to be able to hear afterwards). This deafens the mole (who then can't find food) - he then blunders about and stumbles into the trap and gets killed.

Result: 6 dead moles in first week of this method, and a number of complaints from do-gooder neighbours brushed off.

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Flammable

When I die I hope I'm killed by propane, I tell you what.

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Dead Vulture

This is America, right?

So shoot the buggers! Wait until they stick their cute little heads above the ground, and what's the expression? Oh yes, "pop a cap in their ass".

A little further north, we have a huge surfeit of gophers - I guess they're a similar hamimule. A very popular local passtime is "plinking" gophers - .22 rifles kept in the truck for precisely that purpose. OK, they might not like it in city parks, but fun is more important than safety, ain't it?

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Rodents have the same rights as human animals

Rodents must die! I'd enjoy seeing that trick, but with a sewer pipe. You know, one large enough to fit you into it.

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re: Video

The video would have been more entertaining

with Verdi's Anvil Chorus as the soundtrack.

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Coat

Is it obligatory to yell...

... Fire In The Hole!

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Anonymous Coward

Loud...

I used one of these last year to collapse rat burrows, the video really doesn't do the sound justice, it really does make the earth move darlin'!

Oh, and to the guy who mentioned flames and burning... You should get none of this. The idea is to have a perfect explosive gas:oxygen ratio and just a massive shock wave to collapse the burrows.

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You want a title, OK, here it is: Richard Gere

Lame video! I sort of expected the little flaming corpses to be thrown out from the exploding holes.

"Little flaming corpses" - what would Dave Barry say?

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What borders on cruelty...

...is the music that accompanies the video.

Flame icon, natch.

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Coat

@Andy Walton: It was Futurama.

Also, this is a freakin' awesome method of rodent control. It's quick, pretty painless if done correctly, relatively clean and safe.ish. To the humans.

The only way it could be made better is with AC's uncontrolled escalation idea. Either that or we run the risk of creating a race of flame-retardant SuperMarmots by only leaving the more flame-retardant members of the species.

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Pirate

Theres only one way to get rid of a mole.. Blow its bloody head off!

For those who have never experienced the wit of a certain Jasper Carrott, I give you this youtube link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fePU5CIHpas

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No mercy

When they're finished in Spokane, they can come and sort out my property in Las Vegas. I've been battling against these improbably cute pests for years without success, as their numbers are constantly replenished from a rodent city on an inaccessible empty lot across the street. They're in my roof, under my foundations, and have a veritable apartment complex under my front garden. Every so often a mature plant keels over dead and I find all its roots have been eaten. They've even killed a tree. Gassing and flooding doesn't seem to bother them, and poison bait takes a bigger toll on the local birds. Somebody needs to develop a chipmunk myxomatosis.

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Coat

@ fishman

Actually, they taste like pork. (Groundhog, whistlepig, they get these names for a reason)

Mine's the one with the bottle of brown sauce in the pocket, because I never met a varmint I didn't like, well done!

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