Guam has a problem with brown tree snakes. Specifically, it has two million brown tree snakes, and they’re slowly decimating the country’s other native species. So scientists have come up with a solution, the only logical one really: fill a bunch of dead mice with painkillers, give each corpse a tiny parachute, and throw them all out of helicopters into the jungle. No but really.
According to the Associated Press, the drop is scheduled for sometime in April or May and has actually been in the works for over a decade. The reason it never happened before was for fear that crows might eat the mice instead, but now all the crows have conveniently been eaten by brown tree snakes so it’s all systems go.
All of the mice involved will have recently overdosed on acetaminophen (which is toxic to brown tree snakes), and the hope is that their tiny parachutes will become entangled in the jungle’s foliage where their sacrificed corpses will be feasted upon by the writhing mass of serpents.
No one is aiming to kill all the brown tree snakes, but rather to contain their numbers. Officials in nearby Hawaii are becoming increasingly worried that a literal “snakes on a plane” scenario might spread the predatory species if its numbers remain this high. And what better way to prevent that than an dead rodent air-drop. This might just be crazy enough to work. [Associated Press via NPR]