Feeds

US parkies in 'burrow-buster' marmot detonation campaign

Explosives forestall squirrel population explosion

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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 problem with tunnelling ground squirrels. These small, furry critters, closely related to the marmot, apparently eat new trees.

The Spokane parkies say that there are now perhaps 500 of the root-munching rodents ravaging the Arboretum and they have begun to spread across the city in an uncontrolled squirrel baby boom. The park authorities have already tried gassing the hungry little chaps in their burrows, but this didn't work.

Now, with the ground-squirrel mating season almost on top of them, the parkies have decided to take the gloves off. Rather than merely squirt poison gas into the tunnels of the marmot menace, they will inject a scientific blend of fuel and air. This will then be detonated in a devastating underground blast, instantly incinerating the nefarious squirrels and collapsing the tunnel.

Regular readers will have spotted that this is a very similar modus operandi to that of the fuel-air "bunker buster" thermobaric bombs sometimes favoured by US forces when putting foot to ass in the Wars On Stuff. The British Army also likes them, again for the purpose of blowing up bunkers or structures, and Russia's well known "father of all bombs" is of this type.

The Spokane parkies, however, aren't calling in airstrikes on the Arboretum; nor even deploying a relatively surgical shoulder-launched rocket. Instead, they are using "the Rodenator", a more economical handheld probe style of affair used to squirt "a controlled mixture of propane and oxygen" into the burrows of pesky underground pests and then detonate it. Needless to say, YouTube footage is available:

However, even these relatively gentle methods (compared to those that governments choose to use against humans, anyway) have caused a storm of criticism from Spokane creature-huggers.

Gail Mackenzie of the local Humane Society animal shelter, Spokanimal, reportedly said "You're kidding," on learning of the parkies' pocket bunker-buster bombardment campaign.

"That borders on cruelty," added the startled squirrel advocate.

Senior parkies were quick to enter a dialogue, saying they'd be happy to stop detonating marmots if someone were willing to ethnically cleanse them from the Arboretum by other means.

"If there's a group of people that think they can come in and provide a service of removal to another part of the state or something, that's fine we'll have that dialogue," said Barry Russell, city Parks Director.

"The problem is it's dire right now," he added. "The mating season is starting right now and the 300 to 500 we're estimating could be 2,000 in the coming months."

Russell promised that parkies' representatives would would "hope to sit down" with the Humane Society "in coming days". However the uncompromising parky chief said that the bombing would continue until negotiations were resolved to his satisfaction. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.