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  #1  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:11 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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US gov't to air-drop toxic mice on Guam snakes

The headline says it all

http://news.yahoo.com/us-govt-air-dr...065326367.html

Quote:
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (AP) -- Dead mice laced with painkillers are about to rain down on Guam's jungle canopy. They are scientists' prescription for a headache that has caused the tiny U.S. territory misery for more than 60 years: the brown tree snake.

Most of Guam's native bird species are extinct because of the snake, which reached the island's thick jungles by hitching rides from the South Pacific on U.S. military ships shortly after World War II. There may be 2 million of the reptiles on Guam now, decimating wildlife, biting residents and even knocking out electricity by slithering onto power lines.

More than 3,000 miles away, environmental officials in Hawaii have long feared a similar invasion — which in their case likely would be a "snakes on a plane" scenario. That would cost the state many vulnerable species and billions of dollars, but the risk will fall if Guam's air-drop strategy succeeds.

Last edited by CalMeacham; 02-22-2013 at 02:12 PM..
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:18 PM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is online now
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If this is carpet rather than precision bombing, because hitting a snake on the head with a dead mouse from even a few hundred feet up has got to be tough, they're going to need a hell of a lot of mice.
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:22 PM
solosam solosam is offline
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Drone warfare! Think of all those poor, innocent baby snakes! It's not their fault they're snakes!
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  #4  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:23 PM
Balance Balance is offline
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First, picturing this is gruesomely amusing. Picturing someone confronted with the rain of dead mice who hasn't heard about it in advance is even more so.

Second, how long do you suppose it will be before someone figures out how to smoke and/or snort mice?*

*Edit: Bummer. On actually reading the article carefully, I see the painkiller in question is just acetaminophen. No high snakes or mice-pipes. Just a new headache remedy. Take two mice and call me in the morning.

Last edited by Balance; 02-22-2013 at 02:27 PM..
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:26 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
If this is carpet rather than precision bombing, because hitting a snake on the head with a dead mouse from even a few hundred feet up has got to be tough, they're going to need a hell of a lot of mice.
Laser-guided smart mice.
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:28 PM
Oakminster Oakminster is online now
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There has to be a better way to deal with this problem. Dropping poisoned mice? Really? Every other hungry animal on the island is as likely to eat the bait as the snakes are. OK, I see they are adding mini-parachute like things to hand the dead mice in tree branches. Adds comedic value.

Why not pay a bounty for dead snakes? Let the locals solve the problem and earn a buck in the process.

Last edited by Oakminster; 02-22-2013 at 02:31 PM..
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:33 PM
Sal Ammoniac Sal Ammoniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
There has to be a better way to deal with this problem. Dropping poisoned mice? Really? Every other hungry animal on the island is as likely to eat the bait as the snakes are. OK, I see they are adding mini-parachute like things to hand the dead mice in tree branches. Adds comedic value.

Why not pay a bounty for dead snakes? Let the locals solve the problem and earn a buck in the process.
The bounty idea is okay, but within a week, you'd have people setting up clandestine snake farms.

Last edited by Sal Ammoniac; 02-22-2013 at 02:35 PM..
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:34 PM
Balance Balance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
There has to be a better way to deal with this problem. Dropping poisoned mice? Really? Every other hungry animal on the island is as likely to eat the bait as the snakes are.
Except that (a) the mice will be dropped with rigs that tangle in foliage, keeping them in the treetops, and (b) the snakes have already eaten everything else up there that might eat the mice.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:35 PM
lieu lieu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
Every other hungry animal on the island is as likely to eat the bait as the snakes are.
Streamers are attached that'll catch in the forest canopy right where snakes live. The other animal at risk, birds, are mostly wiped out already.

So really they're more military grade multiply tamponed smart mice.
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:37 PM
Doctor Jackson Doctor Jackson is online now
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Why would a dead mouse need a pain killer?

Huh? Oh. never mind...
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:38 PM
GaryM GaryM is offline
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Won't the snake problem be solved when the island capsizes? What's the rush?
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:41 PM
2gigch1 2gigch1 is offline
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Resurrect Saint Patrick.
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:44 PM
solosam solosam is offline
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And for years the forest canopy will be littered with tiny mouse parachutes.
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:47 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solosam View Post
And for years the forest canopy will be littered with tiny mouse parachutes.
And does a parachuting mouse squeak "Mickey!" as it plummets towards the ground?
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:54 PM
hotflungwok hotflungwok is online now
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Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
And does a parachuting mouse squeak "Mickey!" as it plummets towards the ground?
Of course not, it's dead.
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  #16  
Old 02-22-2013, 02:56 PM
Sicks Ate Sicks Ate is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotflungwok View Post
Of course not, it's dead.
Not at all; it's tired and shagged out following a prolonged squeak.
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  #17  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:02 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is online now
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You know, I have one simple request - and that is to have mice with frickin' Tylenol attached to their heads.

Oh, we can do that? Cool.
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  #18  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:06 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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So they are going to save the birds by dropping poisoned mice into the trees? Are these mice going to have little signs around their necks reading "Snake Food Only!, to stop the birds from gobbling them up?
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  #19  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:32 PM
miss elizabeth miss elizabeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
So they are going to save the birds by dropping poisoned mice into the trees? Are these mice going to have little signs around their necks reading "Snake Food Only!, to stop the birds from gobbling them up?
Hey, read the thread. Lots of people have already answered this question.

I'm glad they are doing something. The loss of the birds in Guam is a real tragedy, and if we were to lose more Pacific island species it would be even worse. I hope this campaign is successful.
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  #20  
Old 02-22-2013, 03:58 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
And does a parachuting mouse squeak "Mickey!" as it plummets towards the ground?
This sparked my mind. I wonder if the mice are dead because of the painkillers. In other words, they've been slipped......a mickey.
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  #21  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:34 PM
davidm davidm is online now
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Here's the USDA web page about this. Along with the toxic mice (acetaminophen is very toxic to brown treesnakes) they're testing or considering a number of different ideas, including snake contraception.
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_d...ts/index.shtml
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  #22  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:39 PM
Tully Mars Tully Mars is offline
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"With god as my witness, I thought mice could fly."

-- apologies to Les Nessman
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  #23  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:40 PM
Johnny L.A. Johnny L.A. is online now
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Ecuador has been poisoning rats in the Galapagos Islands, as the rats are an invasive species.
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  #24  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:49 PM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
Ecuador has been poisoning rats in the Galapagos Islands, as the rats are an invasive species.
So do snakes eat rats as well as mice? We may have a winning combination here....
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  #25  
Old 02-22-2013, 05:47 PM
snowthx snowthx is offline
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It sounds like they are starting this near an airport to help prevent the snakes from island-hopping on aircraft, to places like Hawaii.
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  #26  
Old 02-22-2013, 08:18 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowthx View Post
It sounds like they are starting this near an airport to help prevent the snakes from island-hopping on aircraft, to places like Hawaii.
So they're trying to avoid...Snakes On A Plane!
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  #27  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:09 PM
Ale Ale is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
Laser-guided smart mice.
Mice with frikin' lasers attached to their heads?
That's just evil.
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  #28  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:13 PM
Ale Ale is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowthx View Post
It sounds like they are starting this near an airport to help prevent the snakes from island-hopping on aircraft, to places like Hawaii.
Pfff... silly, they just need to set up a state-of-the-art passenger screening system in the airport and the snakes will be discouraged from air travel altogether.
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  #29  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:23 PM
MacTech MacTech is offline
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....are you pondering what I'm pondering?
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  #30  
Old 02-22-2013, 09:45 PM
Simplicio Simplicio is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oakminster View Post
There has to be a better way to deal with this problem. Dropping poisoned mice? Really? Every other hungry animal on the island is as likely to eat the bait as the snakes are. OK, I see they are adding mini-parachute like things to hand the dead mice in tree branches. Adds comedic value.

Why not pay a bounty for dead snakes? Let the locals solve the problem and earn a buck in the process.
They tried a test program for a bounty system. Didn't work, as people wouldn't pursue the snakes into the jungles, and these provided a resevoir to repopulate the areas people did successfully hunt out.

They've been dealing with this forever, so its probably a pretty safe bet that pretty much any solution that occurs to you after thinking about the problem few minutes has already been considered and tried. Unless airdropping mice with small parachutes stuffed with pain-killers occurs to you, in which case that hasn't been tried, but that oversight will be remedied shortly.
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  #31  
Old 02-22-2013, 11:49 PM
Claverhouse Claverhouse is offline
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Hire mercenaries.
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The efficiency and success of the Italian aviators in Tripoli are noteworthy, but must not be overvalued. There were no opponents in the air.

v. Bernhardi ---- Germany and the Next War
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  #32  
Old 02-23-2013, 02:20 AM
Balance Balance is offline
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Originally Posted by Claverhouse View Post
Hire mercenaries.
Well, those snakes are green, but they do wear brown...trousers? I'm sure the good Sergeant can be flexible on this.
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  #33  
Old 02-23-2013, 02:35 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
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Originally Posted by MacTech View Post
....are you pondering what I'm pondering?
Uh, I think so MacTech, but if you fill mice with aspirin, cats won't get headaches anymore.
SPOILER:
Narf!
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  #34  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:09 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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Did these mice enlist willingly? Or were they drafted? Were they sent to Fort Benning's jump school for proper training? Or will they simply be shoved out the hatch?

Anybody remember the old Michael Jackson song, Ben?

(singing)

Ben, you're always running here and there
You feel you're not wanted anywhere
If you ever look behind
And don't like what you find
There's something you should know
You've got a place to go


<yeah - to Guam>

(/singing)
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  #35  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:14 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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I used to sing cadence when running the platoon...

(singing)

C-130 rollin' down the strip
Guam-bound mousies gonna take a little trip
Stand up, buckle up, shuffle to the door
Jump right out and shout, MARINE CORPS!!

If my 'chute don't open wide
I've got another right by my side
If that 'chute don't open round
I'll be the first mousie on the ground

Singin' lo right-a layeft
Lefty right-a layeft
Lo right-a left right
I love to double time


(/singing)

Do mice sing?
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  #36  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:24 AM
Alley Dweller Alley Dweller is offline
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Originally Posted by echo7tango View Post
Do mice sing?
Here ya go!
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  #37  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:48 AM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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Originally Posted by Alley Dweller View Post
Thanks. At first that mouse sounded a bit like Flipper the dolphin!
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  #38  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:58 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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Sounds like a load of old cobras to me.
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  #39  
Old 02-23-2013, 10:43 AM
Robot Arm Robot Arm is online now
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Fighting rodents from the sky
Fearless mice who jump and die
Mice who mean just what they say
The brave mice of the Green Beret

Silver wings upon their chest
These are mice, America's best
One hundred mice will test today
But only three win the Green Beret
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  #40  
Old 02-23-2013, 10:51 AM
PlainJain PlainJain is offline
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Wait, do snakes eat dead mice?
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  #41  
Old 02-23-2013, 11:11 AM
Michael63129 Michael63129 is offline
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Originally Posted by PlainJain View Post
Wait, do snakes eat dead mice?
That was my first thought as well; I know that many reptiles and amphibians only eat (or even see; their eyes only really see movement) moving prey. I have kept toads as pets before and they only eat something that is moving (not necessarily alive), although perhaps this isn't a problem if the mice are dangling from the trees and moving in the wind.
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  #42  
Old 02-23-2013, 11:18 AM
Balance Balance is offline
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Originally Posted by PlainJain View Post
Wait, do snakes eat dead mice?
From the article: "Unlike most snakes, brown tree snakes are happy to eat prey they didn't kill themselves...."
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  #43  
Old 02-23-2013, 11:19 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PlainJain View Post
Wait, do snakes eat dead mice?
Brown tree snakes do. Most snakes don't. Which actually works out pretty well in this case, since brown tree snakes are the target.


Brown tree snakes are one of very few snake species that eat the corpses of dead animals that they didnít kill themselves.
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  #44  
Old 02-23-2013, 11:28 AM
MEBuckner MEBuckner is online now
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"I always get the shakes before a drop. I've had the injections, of course, and hypnotic preparation, and it stands to reason that I can't really be afraid. Plus, I've been stuffed with enough acetaminophen to kill a capybara, so I'm already dead. But the fact is: I'm scared silly, every time."

Come on, you rats! Do you wanta live forever?!?
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  #45  
Old 02-23-2013, 11:35 AM
thirdname thirdname is offline
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It's a shame they didn't go with my plan to introduce snake-eating gorillas.
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  #46  
Old 02-23-2013, 12:09 PM
FoieGrasIsEvil FoieGrasIsEvil is offline
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I cannot believe the depths that Columbia pictures will sink to generate PR for their latest entry in the Stuart Little franchise.
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  #47  
Old 02-23-2013, 07:30 PM
Bullitt Bullitt is offline
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Come on, you rats! Do you wanta live forever?!?
That was Dan Daly in WWI.
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  #48  
Old 02-23-2013, 07:48 PM
levdrakon levdrakon is online now
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I heard about this years ago, and the damage these snakes do is pretty horrible. I was going to say "nuke 'em from space" but then I realized that's probably the one thing that could actually be harder on the ecosystem than the snakes. Maybe.
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  #49  
Old 02-24-2013, 09:42 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by Ale View Post
Pfff... silly, they just need to set up a state-of-the-art passenger screening system in the airport and the snakes will be discouraged from air travel altogether.
It won't work. What discourages passengers are things like emptying their pockets and taking off their shoes. Snakes, by and large, don't wear shoes, or have pockets. They'll breeze right through TSA checkpoints.
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  #50  
Old 02-24-2013, 11:23 AM
Sailboat Sailboat is offline
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Originally Posted by davidm View Post
they're testing or considering a number of different ideas, including snake contraception.
Just stuffing those things into the condoms is a nightmare.
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