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Opossums Overrun Brooklyn, Fail To Eliminate Rats

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the urban-opossum-blight dept.

Idle 343

__roo writes "In a bizarre case of life imitates the Simpsons, New York City officials introduced a population of opossums into Brooklyn parks and under the boardwalk at Coney Island, apparently convinced that the opossums would eat all of the rats in the borough and then conveniently die of starvation. Several years later, the opossums have not only failed to eliminate the rat epidemic from New York City, but they have thrived, turning into a sharp-toothed, foul-odored epidemic of their own."

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The obvious solution (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639388)

Based on my experience, automobiles seem to work wonders on these things. Clearly, we just need to bring in more automobiles to New York.

Re:The obvious solution (5, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640072)

The automobiles aren't really killing them. Those flattened possums are just playing dead; I see them get up and walk away all the time... or was that Wiley Coyote? I forget.

Re:The obvious solution (2, Funny)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640082)

Well, yes, until they turn into killer cars [youtube.com] , and then you need mutant long-cats to deal with the cars.

And then dismembered hands to deal with the long-cats....

Hipsters (5, Funny)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639396)

Just tell the hipsters in Brooklyn that it's totally ironic to wear live Opossums on their heads. Kill two birds with one stone.

Re:Hipsters (5, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639428)

More like kill two sharp-toothed, foul-odored epidemics with one stone.

Re:Hipsters (-1, Offtopic)

retech (1228598) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639676)

Mod this post up!

Obligatory Simpsons (5, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639418)

Just bring in a colony of ferocious lions to eat the possums. When the lions become a problem, bring in gorillas to fight the lions. Then in winter the cold will kill the gorillas. Problem solved!

Re:Obligatory Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639674)

I call the big one "Bitey".

Re:Obligatory Simpsons (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639890)

When the lions become a problem, bring in gorillas to fight the lions

They've already got gorillas [wikipedia.org] in New York City.

Re:Obligatory Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639918)

What about the Chinese needle snakes?

Re:Obligatory Simpsons (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639966)

"Just bring in a colony of ferocious lions to eat the possums"

Not lions; lion shit. Get bags and drag them around to convince the possums that there is something big and very bad living there.

Herd them into a PETA headquarters. Leave a note that they seem to be some kind of kittens.

Tell the cops that they get 3/5 of a point for each one killed and buy a pair of firing range earmuffs.

Re:Obligatory Simpsons (2, Interesting)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640164)

The New Orleans Police Department sniper team get real life target practice by trolling the streets at night and shooting nutria rats with a .22 rifle.

Re:Obligatory Simpsons (2, Funny)

jpiratefish (1690054) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640062)

Actually, Australian "Powerful Owls" eat 200-350 possums each per year - bring them in, or better, maybe Spotted Owls... Note: Change thread to "Life imitates Futurama"

Re:Obligatory Simpsons (0, Flamebait)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640156)

"Then in winter the cold will kill the gorillas. Problem solved!"

That depends on the availability of Section 8 housing...

Remember the old lady (5, Insightful)

egandalf (1051424) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639426)

Did they learn nothing from the story of the old lady who swallowed a fly?

Poor thing. I hear she died.

Re:Remember the old lady (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639662)

I am truly sorry for your lots.

Alligators (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639438)

Bring in alligators to eat the opossum, and then in the winter, they'll all freeze to death.

No, no, no! (3, Funny)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639502)

The Opossum's most effective predator is the Reticulated Gap-Toothed Yokel.

They're not liable to freeze to death, but they'll likely get killed off by wandering into traffic while looking up at them big tall buildings.

Re:Alligators (4, Funny)

julesh (229690) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639612)

Bring in alligators to eat the opossum, and then in the winter, they'll all freeze to death.

A friend keeps singing a song to her kid about an alligator going snap. I keep telling her she'll need liquid oxygen to achieve that, but I don't think she's got the message.

Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (5, Insightful)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639450)

We had to deal with a bold, insane, possibly rabid raccoon on the front porch last week. Believe me, it's scary when the wild animals decide they're not afraid of you at all.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639500)

LOL, not when you own a firearm!

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (1)

wonderboss (952111) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639702)

Agreed. I have found that a 22 instills quite a bit of fear into opossums and raccoons. Sometimes it is only for one brief moment though.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639788)

A .22 is marginal for raccoons. It'll do the job if you do yours but I much prefer a .223 [wikipedia.org] for varmint. Less likely to make the animal suffer and if you hit them square on it's a "struck by lightning" reaction. Never seen a .22 accomplish that with anything bigger than a squirrel.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639940)

You gotta shoot'em in the head!

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640066)

Yeah, you can do that, but if you miss (hint: headshots on small moving critters are hard) the brain the animal is going to suffer more than it would if you had used a more appropriate cartridge. Unless you are a psychopath you really don't want to wound an animal and condemn it to a slow painful death from blood loss or infection.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33640038)

A .22 is marginal for raccoons. It'll do the job if you do yours but I much prefer a .223 [wikipedia.org] for varmint. Less likely to make the animal suffer and if you hit them square on it's a "struck by lightning" reaction. Never seen a .22 accomplish that with anything bigger than a squirrel.

Back in the days when you could get away with this without people freaking out. My dad used to exterminate pests with a .22

He would get a call, go out to the golf course or manicured lawns and set up a bench. A groundhog would eventually appear. Crack!

One shot later... and then he told me to wait. A minute or two later the next groundhog would come up, as he said, to investigate. Crack!

This was repeated until he said we were done. Dunno how he knew that but he ended up getting referred around the more affluent neighborhoods.

Obviously this isn't for something like a rabid racoon charging at you. But with a sure shot a .22 works quite well and is very quiet.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (-1, Troll)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639710)

Actually, ignorant rednecks who think their manhood enhancement will solve anything are far worst than any animals.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (-1, Flamebait)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639780)

And ignorant fucktards like yourself are completely harmless in any case :D

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (-1, Troll)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639960)

I guess the mods are ignorant fucktards as well. Go ahead, waste those mod points, morons.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640134)

Unless of course you have an irrational fear of being slapped to death...

- Dan.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (0, Offtopic)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639828)

Actually, ignorant rednecks who think their manhood enhancement will solve anything are far worst than any animals.

The only thing worse than ignorant rednecks is stereotyping anti-RKBA asshats such as yourself.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (0, Flamebait)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639848)

At least the ignorant rednecks don't need to worry about being helpless if a rabid wild animal decides to invade their homes.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (-1, Flamebait)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639986)

At least the ignorant rednecks don't need to worry about being helpless if a rabid wild animal decides to invade their homes.

If you're scared of an opossum, you have a lot more serious problems than home infestation.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (0, Flamebait)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640132)

No, instead we need to worry about cowardly child-men like you firing a gun in a residential area to take care of an opossum. Trust me, a stick and some cord is all you need, although they do hiss like the devil himself.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (5, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639800)

Yep, because discharging a firearm at night in an urban setting to kill rodents and small mamalls is an intelligent thing to do.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (3, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639850)

That's what air rifles are for.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (2, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639898)

An air gun would be fine for that. Urban settings have animal control, good luck getting them to show up at midnight though.

I have alligators living on the farthest reaches of my property. I have seen both panther (may have been a large wild cat) & bear tracks within a half-mile of my home. If you live where I do & don't own at least one varmint gun, you're a grade A moron.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (1, Offtopic)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639944)

I've never seen a gator shot -- what kind of gun do you use on them to ensure a quick and clean kill? Do you really use a varmint gun (when I hear that I think of the Mini-14 and .223) or something with a little more power behind it?

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (2, Informative)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640048)

Oh no. If you aren't hunting them (gigging them from a boat & hitting them with a bangstick), you're going to want either a reasonably large caliber rifle / pistol or a 12ga with buckshot. Shooting them in the head does fuck all unless you sever the spine. The good thing about alligators is they generally leave you the hell alone if you do the same. Water moccasins are the ones you really have to watch out for, they will attack you unprovoked, especially during mating season.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (1, Troll)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640092)

Wow, tons of anti-second amendment idiots in this thread. Way to waste those mod points!

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640112)

Air rifles, bow and arrow or even .22 shorts should be fine.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (2, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639864)

Boy, we've come a long way from our humble beginnings on the savanna when one raccoon is scary. Maybe you could try using a human femur as a club, or even a boomstick.

Re:Wild Animals Should Stay In the Wild (2, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639876)

I've never heard of a raccoon that was afraid of people, or at least not recently. That sort of behavior seems to be the norm for them.

Ugh... (1)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639476)

We have these in Chicago; one died in my back yard. They're just like rats, but bigger. I can't believe anyone thought this was a good idea.

Re:Ugh... (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639762)

I live in the South. We have them littering the side of our roads and sometimes in our ovens or stewpots. Around here, other than getting in folks' garbage, they really are not a problem.

Re:Ugh... (1)

Kazymyr (190114) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640024)

...sometimes in our ovens or stewpot

On purpose or not?

Re:Ugh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33640166)

We have these in Chicago; one died in my back yard. They're just like rats, but bigger. I can't believe anyone thought this was a good idea.

The best counter to a rat is ...... a bigger rat !

as always, humans are weak in the mind (-1, Offtopic)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639482)

People think they can predict what their actions will do in real life situations and they totally miss it yet again.

Think about it in from a larger perspective. People are trying to control and manipulate society and economy as much as they are trying to manipulate the environment around them, and they are failing.

As much as people are failing in manipulating such simplest things, as the rat population in this story, imagine how much more failure there is in all other endeavors, for example when a gov't tries to manipulate economy by doing whatever it does, it's astounding that after all of the failures of such attempts in the former USSR or Cuba, the people still believe that gov't should be meddling with economy to try and correct the market instead of allowing the market to work by removing its violent power out of the market place.

Just like the failure of removing rats in this story, the people will fail to fix economy if they try to do so by gov't action.

Of-course in case of rats, it's still possible to do something, people can always poor more and more poisons around, which of-course will poison the environment but just may kill the rats, but in case of economy, it's hopeless. Get gov't hands out of it. [youtube.com]

Re:as always, humans are weak in the mind (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639586)

That's a mighty nice soapbox you have there.

With a stick and some string, you'd have an even better possum trap.

Re:as always, humans are weak in the mind (-1, Offtopic)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639732)

what are you, a drone [slashdot.org] ?

Re:as always, humans are weak in the mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639642)

I just love it when morons like yourself get up on your soapboxes & say stupid shit.

Makes my day.

Re:as always, humans are weak in the mind (-1, Offtopic)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639778)

what are you, a clone [slashdot.org] ?

Re:as always, humans are weak in the mind (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639990)

What the troll... From your argument... humans are better off to not do anything at all. But we know that isn't possible because every action has a reaction and life doesn't exactly stand still... Way to be constructive.

Comparing the removal of rats to Cuba and the economy is an awfully big stretch.

From your argument, we shouldn't even have money. Should we still be trading with horses and wives?

Back on-topic... Yes, New York messed up. But... learning from our actions, being able to document it for later generations and improve upon it next time is what makes us different from the opossums. This is why we don't go around blowing up whale carcasses anymore.

Remember Jurassic Park? (1)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639486)

Life always find its way...

Opossums eat anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639490)

I'm not sure why they thought they would only eat rats, that makes no sense. Opossums eat pretty much anything. I mean they're not unlike just big rats themselves.

Really this sounds more like an urban legend than what really happened.

Re:Opossums eat anything (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639680)

No way. It's from The Post!

possum is a food group here in alabama. (3, Interesting)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639560)

Seriously though, no one in their right mind down here would try to destroy a rat problem with a possum problem. Matter of fact, anyone that doesn't call them 'possum' doesn't really have any experience with the nasty things. The 'opossum' is about one of the nastiest animals I have ever had the displeasure of looking at. We get them in the garbage can every now and then... They get stuck and can't get out if there's not enough in the can for them to climb out. I usually just leave them there and let the trash man take care of them. I've poked at them a little bit and they just show their teeth and hiss. I've never seen them play dead. They're about the #2 roadkill item around here, after armadillo...

So New York, I hear that badgers eat possum... interested?

Re:possum is a food group here in alabama. (4, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639620)

Badgers? Badgers? We don't need no stinkin' badgers!

nicely done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639912)

kudos.

Re:possum is a food group here in alabama. (2, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640032)

Badgers? Badgers?

Mushroom! Mushroom!

Re:possum is a food group here in alabama. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639670)

So New York, I hear that badgers eat possum... interested?

Badgers? Badgers!? We don't need no stinking badgers!

Re:possum is a food group here in alabama. (3, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639720)

I've poked at them a little bit and they just show their teeth and hiss.

Invest in a decent air rifle and hone your marksmanship skills. That's what I do with the damn things. Was more fun living out in the country and shooting them with real firearms but the air rifle is almost as satisfying.

Re:possum is a food group here in alabama. (4, Funny)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639764)

Seriously though, no one in their right mind down here would try to destroy a rat problem with a possum problem. Matter of fact, anyone that doesn't call them 'possum' doesn't really have any experience with the nasty things

I'm with you -- what the hell were they thinking? Anyone from south of the Mason Dixon line would know damned well that turning possums loose on NYC would lead to complete chaos. The possum's preferred meal is Your Garbage, and a NYC alleyway is a possum's smorgasbord.

But I do have an alternate theory. Someone from the Big City came down South and said something stupid about the size of our "rats". Someone from the Little Southern Town said, "We call 'em 'possums', and they'd eat your so-called Noo Yawk rats for breakfast". The city slicker promptly requested a truckload be delivered, and my cousin Bubba gladly obliged... knowing exactly what lay in store for Mr. Smarty-Pants from the city.

Or it could have been an evil plot to wreak toothy, naked-tailed revenge for the wrongs inflicted upon the South during the Civil War... oh, sorry, I mean "War of Northern Aggression". YMMV.

Re:possum is a food group here in alabama. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639798)

I've seen an opossum play dead. Kinda. It was hanging by it's tail from an 8-foot high security fence (near the top) when I walked by (thankfully on the other side) and it decided to just drop it's hold on the fence and "pretend" it was dead. It hit the concrete head-first with a loud SNAP noise, and the body was still there being picked apart by ants a month later. That kind of patience takes dedication. I'd have gotten up and moved long before that.

Re:possum is a food group here in alabama. (5, Insightful)

lexidation (1825996) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639904)

They just show their teeth and hiss? What the fuck would you do if someone trapped you in a garbage can and started poking sticks at you? You expect the little fucker to greet you?

Re:possum is a food group here in alabama. (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640002)

Seriously though, no one in their right mind down here would try to destroy a rat problem with a possum problem.

We are talking about a Government agency, so isn't this already obvious?

Who else would think that something that is smaller than a rat, and who prefers eating already dead animals anyway, would be an ambitious rat killer.

Badgers++ (1)

Dr.Syshalt (702491) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640118)

Yes! Badgers with frigging lasers on their heads!

Wow, google ads are scary... (1)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639578)

This story is giving me back a google text ad for "Alabama Pest Control" Yes, it got the location right.

I bet the idiot planners of Brooklyn... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639580)

...are equally ignorant of economics.

Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639598)

I call the big one Bitey!

The obvious solution: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639622)

Snakes. Lots of snakes.

Fine reporting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639628)

All the Google News stories use the New York Post's article as their source. The NYP's article is sensationalist and light on details.

Full disclosure: I don't mind the opossums, skunks, and raccoons wandering my Toronto neighbourhood.

Common sense... (4, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639634)

Maybe I have the benefit of experience, having lived in the south and all, but WHO WOULD BE SO F#$%ING STUPID AS TO USE POSSUMS FOR PEST CONTROL?

The damn things are like the mammalian answer to cockroaches. If they didn't have typical mammalian susceptibility to radiation, odds on them among southerners would be 10:1, their favor against roaches to survive a nuclear holocaust by eating the remaining roaches and being the last species standing.

Re:Common sense... (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639806)

They're less likely to spread diseases to humans than rats, they're less likely to have rabies, and they are easier to catch and kill than rats.

EPIC FAIL! (-1, Flamebait)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640130)

Opossums [wikipedia.org] are marsupials!

entomologist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639654)

does quoting an entomologist's description of opossums seem odd to anyone else?

Success stories? (1)

mliu (85608) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639696)

I'm curious if anyone knows of any success stories of using this strategy with large animals.

It definitely seems to work on smaller scales, like buying praying mantis eggs to control garden pests. But I'm not sure I've ever heard of a success involving anything much bigger than that.

And now i will imitate the Simpsons (4, Funny)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639700)

HA HA!

New York Post article ... (4, Insightful)

Spectre (1685) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639810)

I know this is Idle, but still.

Newspapers: New York Times, Washington Post.

Tabloids: New York Post, Washington Times.

If this is a real story, is there a real paper carrying it somewhere?

Sort of, here's a United Press International feed: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2010/09/19/Immigrant-opossums-adapt-to-Brooklyn/UPI-90141284911712/ [upi.com]

Flak Cannon (1)

kaoshin (110328) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639818)

Anything can be solved with a BFG.

WIKIPEDIA (4, Insightful)

immakiku (777365) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639820)

Their unspecialized biology, flexible diet and reproductive strategy make them successful colonizers and survivors in diverse locations and conditions.

If they had just read the first two paragraphs in wikipedia, they'd know possums don't just "die off" after there's no more rats.

Simplest solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639822)

Is it against city policy to simply throw down poison cheese into the gutters?

Marsupials (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639838)

Should be one of that kind that could be natural enemy of rats or oppossums. And that way we give Australia the revenge chance for the rabbits or the frogs

A little off topic, but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639846)

Check out the comments on that New York Post article... I thought racism was over :(

Re:A little off topic, but (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640084)

I thought racism was over :(

Ever been to 4chan?

How many times will this happen? (1)

shimage (954282) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639856)

As someone raised in Hawaii, I'm pretty shocked that people still think that introducing yet another new species into an ecosystem is going to solve any problems. I thought we all figured this out over 100 years ago?

Did they try this in Boston back in the 80's? (1)

Gojira Shipi-Taro (465802) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639860)

I remember a line from "Cheers"

Norm: There's a dead possum in the stairwell... at least I hope it's a possum. I hate to think a rat could get that big...

Re:Did they try this in Boston back in the 80's? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640148)

Norm never saw a New York City subway rat. Those fuckers can grow to be the size of a small dog. I had the misfortune of living there and had the damn things coming into our basement apartment. My roommates cat was afraid to take them on. I wound up getting a Dachshund -- that dog was a natural ratter and completely fearless. She killed over a dozen of the damn things before we moved out of that shithole apartment.

The complexity of an ecosystem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33639868)

Whenever I read stuff like this, I am reminded of the simple-mindedness of Space Nutters and other whackjobs of the same ilk that think we'll colonize Mars.

They really think we have the technology and knowledge to do so; but we don't even know how stuff works down here!

hm (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639880)

I do believe that integrated pest management techniques are a valid approach, and that we are going to have a lot of trial and error before we come up with safe and effective approaches to using one species to control another like that. So the part about it failing doesn't really annoy me (and I live in Brooklyn). The part that kind of offends me is that this decision was made by a Community Board, rather than by trained professionals in the NYC or NYS DEPs.

Cane toads (1)

binkzz (779594) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639894)

Have we not learned from Australia [mongabay.com] ?

We've given Australia plague after plague after plague. From rabbits to buffalo and from camels to toads. And they didn't even keep any captive Jewish slaves. Introducing new species as a way of killing a current one is rarely a good idea.

What is much, much more effective is introducing large numbers of sterile animals [wikipedia.org] of the same group into the wild though.

Re:Cane toads (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639962)

We've given Australia plague after plague after plague. From rabbits to buffalo and from camels to toads.

Yeah but that was just to mess with them.

This Just In... (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639964)

Alligators now being brought in to deal with Opossum problem. Rats move to Harlem.

They're here (1)

Tea-Bone of Brooklyn (828337) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639972)

I had one die in my parking spot a few months ago. Maybe it ate a bad rat.

Just another case of history repeating itself (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 3 years ago | (#33639984)

How many times has man transplanted a wild animal or plant from one place to another to try to eradicate a pest? How many times has it succeeded?

Earlier this year my SO and I went to St. John, USVI for vacation. We learned how they had a major rat problem on the island back in the 1800's. Some enterprising individual decided to introduce a bunch of mongoose (mongeese?) to the island to eradicate the rats. The only problem is that the rats are nocturnal and mongoose aren't, so they just ended up with a rat problem at night and a mongoose problem during the day...

Possums are basically big marsupial rats, right? (1)

aapold (753705) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640080)

Even if they did elminate the rats we'd still have the same problem...

Possum are Native to NYC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33640110)

Possums are native to North America including NYC. They were probably eliminated in this part of NYC. Their re-introduction would probably have occurred naturally given time. So this whole article is superfluous, consider the source "NYPOST" a local rag, owned by FOX/Murdoch.

Time to move onto other articles.

I don't know why she swallowed the fly. (0, Redundant)

carpefishus (1515573) | more than 3 years ago | (#33640146)

Perhaps she'll die.
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